Consumer

EDN Staff

A resources site and community for engineers involved in the design and development of consumer home or mobile electronics hardware and software.  Find design tips, new product information and discussion on consumer audio, video, multimedia, gaming, communications, computing, and home appliances.

My Fitbit stopped playing with me

The fitness device market will be won by the products that engage us. Read More...

Flex circuits: Innovations and processes

The smartphone market has spurred flex circuit manufacturers to adopt new advanced flex circuit solutions to scale production and lower costs. Here’s what you need to know. Read More...

Teardown: Fitness band hardware

This fitness band's feature set was elementary but adequate, and the hardware seemed sufficient, but the product stumbled when it came to the associated software. Read More...

Are streaming sticks the present and future?

When you see the capabilities delivered by modern "streaming sticks," you might wonder why anyone would bother buying a conventional form factor unit any longer. It's a good question. Read More...

Taking Roku on the road

With Roku's Hotel and Dorm Connect, there is a good use for Roku devices' Wi-Fi Direct facilities, although they still insist on spectrum-squatting. Read More...

Teardown: A Wi-Fi smart plug for home automation

Belkin's WeMo devices aren't the only smart switch options available; TP-Link's HS100 implements some interesting design choices ... once you finally succeed in getting inside, that is! Read More...

Catching heat for partners’ shortcomings

When there's a problem with Media Center's EPG, it's not Zap2It or Rovi that catches heat from consumers ... it's Microsoft. And this situation isn't unique to Microsoft, either. Caveat emptor. Read More...

Open source is still an unpredictable option

OpenOffice could be the next cautionary tale for open source, proving even an open source advocate should be pragmatic. Read More...

Teardown: Comparing laptop hardware

In this teardown, we’ll see if the Acer Aspire One Cloudbook 11's commonality with Chromebooks extends to its hardware. Read More...

SmartEverything and the rise of the microphone array

With advanced MEMS microphones, we can build very large microphone arrays with sophisticated processing algorithms to pinpoint the origin of sounds, hone in on a specific source, or pointedly ignore unwanted sounds. Read More...

Network neutrality déjà vu

The last time this engineer faced data caps from a broadband provider, there were other options available, but now he’s stuck. Are you in the same boat? Read More...

RFID-enhanced CES badge helps you get to the show

Las Vegas Monorail multi-day passes are a great deal, and especially convenient when they're encoded on your CES badge ... when they work, that is. Read More...

If it smells fake, it probably is

With all the talk of "fake news" and "alternative facts," can such things happen in business-to-business publications? Read More...

A slick upgrade to industry-standard RAID

Proprietary RAID approaches may make failure recovery more challenging, but they also come with some slick enhancements. Read More...

VoIP phone teardown

This 2011 VoIP office phone shows some thoughtful acoustic and mechanical design. Read More...

CES 2017: 3 significant technology trends

Some truly significant technologies, and products based on them, were introduced and advanced at this year's Consumer Electronics Show. Here are three that particularly stuck with this engineer. Read More...

CES 2017: 29 intriguing products

As usual, the recently concluded 2017 Consumer Electronics Show included a mix of the predictable, the surprising, and the completely bizarre. See what caught this engineer's eye, and why. Read More...

Spread-spectrum clocking in PCI Express

EMI-reducing SSC isn't always up to snuff. Read More...

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Bad-bulb finder fixes Christmas lights

15 years later, here’s a new take on one of our most popular Design Ideas ever! Read More...

Hybrid vacuum tube/solid-state audio power amplifier

An audio power amp design that combines vacuum tube input circuitry with solid-state output and feedback components. Read More...

Low-duty-cycle LED flasher keeps power draw at 4 mW

In situations where a low-duty-cycle blinking indicator provides an adequate indication of the power being turned on, this simple circuit should prove useful. Read More...

Signal-powered switch connects devices

Use a switch to selectively connect a terminal, personal computer, or any other originating device to one of four receivers. Read More...

Send MIDI signals over long distances

A single Category 5 cable links MIDI devices up to 100m away. Read More...

Passive-detector receiver keeps you informed, entertained during flights

Receive HF AM signals without battery power. Read More...

Circuit combines power supply and audio amplifier

This circuit can help if you must transfer DC power and audio over one pair of copper wires. Read More...

Video emitter uses battery power

This hows how to make a cable-free, direct-video system. You can use the small and simple system each time you need to capture image and sound on the run. Read More...

Circuit eliminates PC echoes

Long-distance-telephone services available via the Internet often require the PC user to wear headphones of a headset to prevent echo caused by the microphone's picking up the loudspeaker outputs. The circuit in Figure 1 eliminates the echo while using the existing PC microphone and speakers for a comfortable conversation. Read More...

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Bluetooth 5 SoC maximizes battery life

A multiprotocol, Bluetooth 5-certified radio Soc, On Semiconductor’s RSL10 requires just 62.5 nW in deep sleep mode and 7 mW in receive mode. Read More...

MOSFETs serve flyback topologies

Infineon’s 700-V CoolMOS P7 family of MOSFETs allows flyback-based chargers to achieve up to 3.9% higher efficiency. Read More...

eCall battery charger cuts leakage current

Intersil’s ISL78693 3.6-V single-cell battery charger increases the life of LiFePO4 backup batteries used in automotive eCall systems. Read More...

Rx/Tx converters span 800 MHz to 4000 MHz

The HMC8100 and HMC8200 Rx/Tx converters from Analog Devices replace multiple discrete parts in microwave backhaul applications. Read More...

Wireless charger fits sealed wearables

STMicroelectronics’ STWBC-WA/STWLC04 miniature chipset for wireless battery charging allows smaller, simpler, and sealed sports wearables. Read More...

Valencell and Jabra team up to create the most accurate wireless earbud device

Next generation earbuds are going truly wireless to provide accurate and convenient health insights during your workout. Read More...

Wireless transmitter is QI-certified

The bq501210 is a WPC V1.2-compliant wireless power transmitter from Texas Instruments that delivers up to 15 W. Read More...

Bluetooth module enhances IoT security

Laird’s BLE652 Bluetooth V4.2 and NFC certified radio module offers robust security and easy programming for enterprise IoT applications. Read More...

Stereo audio chips leverage Bluetooth V4.2

Microchip’s IS206X family of audio SoC devices and modules is qualified for Bluetooth V4.2 with EDR (Enhanced Data Rate) links. Read More...

Kit demos multimode wireless charger

EPC’s 9121 wireless power-charging demonstration system simplifies the evaluation process of using eGaN FETs and ICs for multimode charging. Read More...

IC manages battery power in wearables

Highly integrated, the STBC02 chip from STMicroelectronics embeds numerous features for energy management in wearable and portable devices. Read More...

Tiny motion sensor fits wearable devices

Bosch Sensortec’s BMX160 is a 9-axis motion sensor touted as the smallest in the industry for wearable and augmented/virtual-reality devices. Read More...

Another strong voice chimes in for remote control

Voice control is ever increasing in popularity and the technology is now moving further towards ubiquity with Texas Instrument’s voice remote control solution. Read More...

Portable e-car charger leverages SiC MOSFETs

Thirty-two SiC MOSFETs from STMicroelectronics perform efficient power conversion in the ZapCharger portable electric-car charging station. Read More...

SAG taps STMicro for IoT NFC tags

STMicroelectronics and Securitag Assembly Group (SAG) have announced a tiny NFC ferrite tag based on the ST25 NFC tag IC for IoT applications. Read More...

MEMS sensors empower smart phones

Low-power 6-axis inertial modules from STMicroelectronics, the LSM6DSL and LSM6DSM, pack a 3-D digital accelerometer and gyroscope. Read More...

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Teardown: Fitness band hardware

This fitness band's feature set was elementary but adequate, and the hardware seemed sufficient, but the product stumbled when it came to the associated software. Read More...

Teardown: A Wi-Fi smart plug for home automation

Belkin's WeMo devices aren't the only smart switch options available; TP-Link's HS100 implements some interesting design choices ... once you finally succeed in getting inside, that is! Read More...

Teardown: Comparing laptop hardware

In this teardown, we’ll see if the Acer Aspire One Cloudbook 11's commonality with Chromebooks extends to its hardware. Read More...

Teardown: Drone streams live video

Past teardowns in this series have dissected a base drone, as well as a camera drone, and now the "high end” version, with wireless live-streamed video support, goes under the knife. Read More...

Teardown: Wireless keyboard and remote senses motion

The Mohu Channels wireless keyboard is also a remote control with motion-activated on-screen cursor capability; see how it works. Read More...

Teardown: Streaming device marred by glitches

Mohu Channels had an abundance of hardware potential as a streaming device that also offers over-the-air TV, but software glitches led to a premature product demise. Read More...

Teardown: A tiny camera drone

Is it worth it to upgrade to a drone with a 0.3 Mpixel image sensor-and-lens assembly, mated to a microSD flash memory card slot? Read More...

Teardown: Today’s ATSC converter box

Several ICs from previously unknown (at least to this engineer) companies form the silicon foundation of a multi-branded ATSC PVR reference design. Read More...

Teardown: Inside Toshiba's Chromebook 2

An exposed screw presented an opportunity this engineer couldn’t resist. What's inside Toshiba's high definition display-enhanced Chromebook? Read More...

Teardown: Bluetooth controller for low-cost VR

You can get VR on a budget with a smartphone, an inexpensive Google Cardboard headset, and an even more inexpensive Bluetooth controller ... if the controller works. Read More...

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Appliance autonomy promises to make life simpler

These are exciting times for autonomous devices, but how robustly will they eventually operate, and how quickly will they reach this point? Read More...

The next 60 years in consumer electronics

As we celebrate 60 years of EDN, we look forward to the overarching themes and specific technologies that will be the future of consumer electronics. Read More...

10 drones you’ll want to own

Drones are the hottest thing in consumer electronics at the moment, and they're increasingly inexpensive as more suppliers enter the market, so which one(s) should you get? Read More...

What level of smartphone should you buy?

To understand the differences between phones and ranges of phones, see how the Samsung Galaxy S7, Samsung Galaxy A9, and Huawei Mate 8 compare. Read More...

CES 2016: It’s all about smartphones

Smartphones were at the center of many innovations at CES 2016. Read More...

NASA’s Mars Orion program featured at CES 2016

See where NASA’s plans for a mission to Mars stand with a look at its CES 2016 booth, featuring rockets, 3D printers, and robonauts. Read More...

Smartphone receiver to connect cars unveiled at CES 2016

Pioneer Electronics released AppRadio 4 (SPH-DA120) which brings the use of cloud and device sourced content from compatible iOS, Android, and MirrorLink-enabled devices to your car. Read More...

8 wearables beyond the Fitbit for health and fitness

Bluetooth, algorithms, accelerometers, gyroscopes, and more make these 8 wearables work for health and fitness. Read More...

CES Unveiled NY: What consumer electronics will 2016 bring?

See some of the up-and-coming consumer electronics that were on display at CES Unveiled, a preview event for CES 2016. Read More...

All you need to know about MIPI D’PHY RX

MIPI D’Phy, a physical serial communicating layer connecting the application processor to the display device or the camera, offers advantages as the physical layer. Learn about those and implementation here. Read More...

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My Fitbit stopped playing with me

The fitness device market will be won by the products that engage us. Read More...

Are streaming sticks the present and future?

When you see the capabilities delivered by modern "streaming sticks," you might wonder why anyone would bother buying a conventional form factor unit any longer. It's a good question. Read More...

Help save a part of engineering history

The first house to have a telephone is up for sale. You can help turn it into a museum. Read More...

Taking Roku on the road

With Roku's Hotel and Dorm Connect, there is a good use for Roku devices' Wi-Fi Direct facilities, although they still insist on spectrum-squatting. Read More...

Catching heat for partners’ shortcomings

When there's a problem with Media Center's EPG, it's not Zap2It or Rovi that catches heat from consumers ... it's Microsoft. And this situation isn't unique to Microsoft, either. Caveat emptor. Read More...

Open source is still an unpredictable option

OpenOffice could be the next cautionary tale for open source, proving even an open source advocate should be pragmatic. Read More...

Network neutrality déjà vu

The last time this engineer faced data caps from a broadband provider, there were other options available, but now he’s stuck. Are you in the same boat? Read More...

If it smells fake, it probably is

With all the talk of "fake news" and "alternative facts," can such things happen in business-to-business publications? Read More...

A slick upgrade to industry-standard RAID

Proprietary RAID approaches may make failure recovery more challenging, but they also come with some slick enhancements. Read More...

CES 2017: 3 significant technology trends

Some truly significant technologies, and products based on them, were introduced and advanced at this year's Consumer Electronics Show. Here are three that particularly stuck with this engineer. Read More...

>> SEE ALL

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