In a blog post earlier this year we discussed ways to make your product wireless. The getOrder waiter pager from Rok Furlan s.p demonstrates how going wireless can increase the utility of a product.
What Is It?
The getOrder is a wireless waiter-paging system. Guests in a restaurant have a handheld device on their table and can request service from staff by pressing a button. This causes the waiter’s pager to vibrate, alerting them to the request – no more frantic hand waving or long waits for the bill to arrive!
The Vibration Motor
Our 310-113 Pico Vibe 10mm Vibration Motor is used for vibration alerting in the pagers. The small form factor of a coin motor and enclosed eccentric mass can be desirable characteristics in a handheld device or any application where space is limited. The 310-113 also comes with a self-adhesive pad for easy mounting to an enclosure or PCB.
Making it Wireless
The system uses a low power Texas Instruments system-on-a-chip (SoC). The SoC acts as both an 868MHz transceiver and the main system controller (there is an 8051 microcontroller embedded into the SoC). As the chip can’t output enough power to drive the motor directly, it uses a simple MOSFET design for the vibration alert. The vibration alerting is simply on/off – advanced haptic feedback patterns add extra cost and design complexity, and aren’t always required.
Using Wireless Radio in Your Product/Project
For quick development, a SoC probably isn’t the way to go. Consider using a simple radio transceiver along with a separate microcontroller like the Arduino, and a little external circuitry to drive the motor (as above). A guide on driving motors with MOSFETs can be found here.
So maybe it’s time to make your product or project go wireless.