Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Maxim reference design measures galvanic skin response to aid wearables designers

Steve Rogerson
June 2, 2015
Wearables developers can immediately evaluate galvanic skin response (GSR) sensing with the Maxrefdes 73# reference design from Germany-based Maxim Integrated Products.
GSR is a measurement of skin's conductivity and can be difficult to apply because designers need to manipulate several discrete chips and calibration software before completing the sensor design. The reference design integrates digital-to-analogue (DAC) and analogue-to digital (ADC) converters, a microcontroller with power management, firmware, and an Android app into what is claimed to be the industry’s first GSR reference design.
Now designers of wearables can save development and testing time, and quickly bring their mobile medical and fitness products to market.
“We based Maxrefdes 73# on our award-winning MAX32600 wellness microcontroller, and are giving wearables developers a highly integrated reference design,” said Seth Messimer, business manager for medical microcontrollers at Maxim Integrated. “With all the integrated components, our customers are 80 per cent done already, saving them design and evaluation time.”
Offered in a wristband form factor, the reference design includes body surface temperature readings, Bluetooth communications and a rechargeable battery that lasts up to one week on a single charge.It has a 16bit integrated analogue front-end to improve accuracy.
The reference design is available for $189 from Maxim's web site and select franchised distributors. Hardware and firmware design files, as well as test data, are provided free and are available online.