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DECEMBER 2013

SMART

SENSORS Sam Guillaume, ` CEO of Movea

Open Source Satellite Flexible Touchscreen Sensor Film

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SENSOR TECHNOLOGY

4 10 22

CONTENTS

PRODUCT HIGHLIGHT

Atmel’s Flexible Touchscreen Technology

FEATURED ARTICLE

ArduSat: The World’s First Open-Source Satellite

COVER INTERVIEW

Sam Guillaumé - CEO and Co-founder of Movea

“We turn sensor data into meaningful personal information.” Pushing the Future with the Past

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Unlike other models that rely on GPS and Wi-Fi, the basis for Movea’s indoor pedestrian navigation technology dates back to the 30s, 40s, and 50s when aircrafts utilized large mechanical gyroscopes, accelerators and compasses to track their heading, acceleration, and rotations around their center of gravity. “By looking at these, computers or navigators could build up a fairly accurate estimation of the aircraft’s trajectory and have an idea where the aircraft was at any given moment,” said Dave Rothenberg, Director of Marketing and Partner Alliances at Movea. Like aircraft navigation systems, pedestrian navigation systems require information about the person’s heading and speed as well, and Movea’s expertise in sensor fusion has helped capitalize on these technologies, “The heading portion of these inputs is heavily dependent on sensor fusion— that is the fusing of data streams from accelerometers, gyroscopes, and magnetometers to arrive at a very accurate estimation of orientation and three-dimensional space,” added Rothenberg. Movea’s indoor navigation systems fuse signals from an accelerometer, a magnetometer, a gyroscope, and a pressure sensor to provide a relative position. “The accelerometer is good enough to get the step cadency. From the step cadency, we have a step-to distance model, where we adaptively estimate

“Movea’s navigation technology can build up a trajectory t the system to know the user’s location at any given t

your stride. By looking at the cadency of your stride and the adapted estimation of your stride length, it can estimate your speed. The fourth sensor that is useful is the pressure sensor, which allows us to identify if you are changing floors—so if you are in a shopping mall, or an airport, we want to be able to estimate what floor you might be on,” explained Rothenberg. Starting from an absolute “I am here” position, Movea’s navigation technology can build up a trajectory that allows the system to know the user’s location at any given time.

COVER STORY “I Am Here” Technology

An In-depth Look at Movea’s Indoor Navigation System

I Am Here

The “I am here” location can be established in several ways. If the user is outdoors and enters an indoor location, the system will utilize GPS to establish an “I am here” fix at the point of entry and once established the inertial navigation system can take over. Alternatively, other sensors can be mixed to help compensate for drift or to reset the system providing a new “I am here” location using Wi-Fi or RF fingerprinting of the environment. By matching the signal strengths and access points in the physical space to a database a new “I am here” position can be established. Other “I am here” positioning alternatives include beaconing technology like that used in Apple’s iBeacon, and image recognition. “Imagine walking through a shopping mall and you notice

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SENSOR TECHNOLOGY

XSense Flexible Touchscreen Technology

In 2012, Atmel launched a product that will become the next step in the touchscreen product evolution; the XSense flexible touch sensor. XSense is a roll-to-roll metal mesh technology that can achieve high performance touch sensing capabilities on a seemingly endless variety of curved or flexible surfaces. With XSense already in production, OEMs have already started implementing it in the next generation of disruptive, touch-enabled devices.

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TECH ARTICLE

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SENSOR TECHNOLOGY

Like many other technologies that were ahead of their time,

it’s hard to tell exactly how far the scope of XSense applications will span. What is clear at this point is that XSense’s extremely light, thin, and powerful features can be implemented in thinner mobile devices, curved and contoured screens, and edgeless designs for consumer touch-enabled devices. XSense is currently suited for a range of device displays spanning from 3.2 inches to 8.3 inches. In October of this year, Atmel’s XSense became Windows 8 certified, meaning any OEMs developing Windows 8 products can be assured that XSense will be powerful enough for this touchscreen-compatible operating system. The overall thinness of this touchscreen film allows for superior clarity on the device display, low sheet resistance, and lower power consumption, allowing for numerous benefits for implementation. XSense also allows for thinner sensor stacks within the device, meaning that not only is the display twice as thin as average touchscreen sensor film, but that the device itself can be reduced in size. Atmel is also confident that any OEM looking to use XSense will be able to reduce the overall costs of manufacturing the device by including these features in one incredibly thin solution. XSense is currently being manufactured in Atmel’s 500,000 square-foot Colorado Springs facilities. While XSense production only takes up a small portion of this facility, Atmel expects its production of the touchscreen film to expand enough to support $100 million in sales capacity by the fourth quarter 2013. By revealing these estimates, Atmel seems confident that the mobile device industry will adapt to the new possibilities presented by the introduction of XSense. It’s only a matter of time before we see the true potential of this revolutionary sensor film.

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TECH ARTICLE

Flexible Design: The possibilities for designing with a flexible and durable touchscreen sensor are limitless. Atmel recently launched its XSense design contest, allowing developers to design the futuristic displays of their wildest dreams.

Here's a taste of the future: Edge-to-Edge Screen

Curved In-Car Display

Wrap-Around Display

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SENSOR TECHNOLOGY

Libelium Teams with Nanosatisfi to Launch the “Internet of Things” Into Outer Space Low-cost sensors, low-power processors, scalable cloud computing, and ubiquitous wireless connectivity have enabled an “Internet of Things” revolution. And, at the forefront of the charge is Libelium. Founded in 2006 by college mates, Alicia Asín and David Gascón, Libelium delivers open-source, low-power consumption devices that are easy to program and implement for Smart City solutions, and a wide range of M2M and sensor projects. But, Libelium’s latest partnership with Nanosatisfi promises to take the Internet of Things to the next frontier, outer space.

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TECH ARTICLE

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SENSOR TECHNOLOGY

An Open-Source Marriage With the successful launch of ArduSat-I and ArduSat-X last August, the marriage between US-based Nanosatisfi and Spainbased Libelium was pronounced. Both ArduSats, developed by Nanosatisfi, were funded in part by a Kickstarter crowd-funding effort that raised more than $100,000. The additional $1 million plus necessary to get the satellites off the ground came from venture-capital backers. Each Arduinobased Nanosatellite complies with CubeSat standards and comes equipped with Arduino boards and sensors along with Libelium’s radiation technology. “The main idea with this satellite is that people—researchers, developers—can upload their own programs to this satellite in real time from the earth. This company is trying to make people get access to space easily,” David Gascón, Co-Founder of Libelium, told EEWeb. Libelium’s previous work with radiation technology made them especially suited for the development of the radiation sensors currently on board the ArduSats. “I thought that they were integrating a bunch of different sensors,” Gascón told us, “but they were not integrating geiger sensors that measure radiation. This is when I thought that Libelium could improve this project by adding the know-how about how to measure radiation because we have, in the past, developed radiation sensor boards for the Fukishima radiation meltdown after the Tsunami.” Both Libelium and Nanosatisfi are well established in the open-source community and their united vision to empower the world with innovative technologies propelled their relationship. “When I saw that we could add our technology in these satellites, I didn’t

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think about it twice, I just said ‘yes.’ We wanted to integrate our sensors in this satellite. I was talking to the guys at Nanosatisfi and we were trying to come up with possible applications for this technology. I thought we could measure solar storms, background radiation into space—all sorts of different experiments. It was a very open collaboration between open source companies,” explained Gascón.

Adapting to Outer Space Libelium’s radiation sensors were originally developed to measure radioactivity levels on Earth and considerable

Ardusat Satellite Geiger Counter Radiation Sensors (Libelium)


TECH ARTICLE "Libelium’s reengineered radiation sensor board is tiny enough to fit in the palm of your hand."

adaptations were necessary to meet the ArduSat’s restrictions especially in terms of weight and size. “In the beginning, our sensor board was not as small and lightweight as it is now because we had developed our radiation sensor board to work on top of Waspmote, which is our sensor platform, or on top of platforms like Arduino or Raspberry Pi. It was around the size of a credit card. When we started talking with Nanosatisfi, they told us that we had to make it really small. When they said ‘small,’ they meant 3 to 4 centimeters. So it’s tiny— like a really small cube. The whole satellite

is just 10 by 10 centimeters—so it has to be really small and really lightweight. Even the radiation sensor weighs only 40 grams. Most of the research here was like trying to miniaturize the technology,” Gascón told us. Aside from downsizing the board, preparing Libelium’s technology for space travel also required alterations to the Geiger tubes, the sensor, and the power control mechanism, “We had to change the Geiger tubes because in our normal sensor board, we [had] a glass tube. These Geiger tubes are metallic. That was the first change we made. The second was the size of the sensor. The other thing we had to add to our board was a special unit to control the power. The sensors can’t be powered the whole time, so the satellite has to decide to turn it on to measure and when to turn it off. The energy control part was really important in the satellite because it is not powered by solar energy the whole time, because it is going around earth and it just gets energy part of the day. You have to control the amount of current that is drawn from the battery,” explained David. Although Libelium’s reengineered radiation sensor board is tiny enough to fit in the palm of your hand, the applications are vast. Orbiting at an altitude of 300 km, the radio-controlled satellite technology can be used explore a wide range of phenomena from sun storms to radiation emitted from earth. Everyday the sun is spewing solar storms, which sends a lot of gamma radiation towards the earth. It’s important to not only measure the radiation that reaches certain places in the world, but the original radiation that is going through space. Afterwards it’s important to study how these particles are distributed on the earth. “With these sensors,” Gascón said, “we’ll be able to know the final amount of radiation that reaches the

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SENSOR TECHNOLOGY

earth, but also the gamma radiation that is currently going through space on the way to the earth. It’s also interesting that radiation is not only produced in space. On earth, radiation is also being produced in certain kinds of electric storms with lightning and other phenomena. Gamma radiation is also produced there and sent into space.”

The Future of ArduSat Open source satellite technology is in its infancy and its utility to the scientific community is yet to be determined. But Gascón and many others are confident, “If this project is a success, and I’m sure it will be, there will be more satellites like this going up into space. Of course, Libelium will be offering our sensors for that satellite because now we have the know-how for the sensor integration on the satellite.” The burgeoning enthusiasm behind this new technology, combined with the efforts of open-source companies like Libelium and Nanosatisfi, promises to catapult a new era of space exploration and Internet of Things applications. “Maybe in ten years, everything will be accessible and open source, but small steps like this are the first of these steps. I think companies like Libelium and Nanosatisfi are making the difference now so that companies that come about in the upcoming years have an easy way to build their applications and products,” expressed Gascón. With Ardusat, access to satellite technology is no longer limited to governments and a few wealthy corporations, it is now possible for everyone to take part in what has been said to be the

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final frontier. With satellite technology at the fingertips of the world, how our understanding of the universe will evolve and how this technology will affect our lives three decades from now is at the whims of our imagination.


TECH ARTICLE

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SENSOR TECHNOLOGY

Smart

Sensors for Smart Devices Movea is a leading provider of data fusion and motion processing firmware, software, and IP for the consumer electronics industry. The company was founded by four French entrepreneurs with great academic backgrounds and industrial experience. The team pursued an opportunity in the industry to provide intelligent sensors to mobile device manufacturers, which led to an acquisition of a company, 440 patents, and the creation of a motion sensor IC that could transform sensor data into intelligible information. The end result is a broad and ever-evolving array of user applications, one of which being an indoor navigation system for smartphone users. Sensor Technology spoke with Sam Guillaume, CEO and Co-founder of Movea, about the company's history, the core product offerings, and what the future has in store for Movea.

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COVER INTERVIEW

Sam Guillaume CEO & Co-Founder of Movea

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SENSOR TECHNOLOGY

“Our vision was to create a motion IC that would transform sensor data into intelligible information that can be leveraged for a whole range of compelling end user applications, which 6 years later, is exactly what we do.” What did you do prior to starting Movea? After my engineering degree, I started my career as an engineer first in Germany then in the US. After a few years, back and forth between US and Europe, I evolved into an operational and managerial position in charge of engineering and manufacturing for a semiconductor equipment company called Schlumberger in the Valley. During my employment at Schlumberger, I was exposed to HR, finance, sales, marketing, and engineering, which was a great experience for me. As much as I always wanted to be an engineer, I also always wanted to start a company and to be in the driver’s seat. When the opportunity arose, I made sure to capitalize off my relationships with people at big organizations. I was also fortunate enough to meet some great guys at a research institute (CEA-Léti in Grenoble, France) guys who were working on what would eventually become Movea as a

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company. We all got along very well. That’s essentially how we started—just a couple of guys with some good ideas trying to see what we could do.

Did you have an initial idea that really resonated with you and your cofounders, or did you have a bunch of ideas that you decided to pursue? We started Movea as a team of four, two with this great academic background and the two with strong industrial experience. We were convinced there was a big opportunity for sensors in consumer electronics. We were in 2006 and at that time the whole industry was convinced that it would take years before sensors, gyroscopes in particular would make their way into smartphones. Our vision was to create a motion IC that would transform sensor data into intelligible information that can be leveraged for a whole range of compelling end user applications, which 6 years later, is exactly what we do.


COVER INTERVIEW Soon after starting Movea, we had this unique opportunity to operate as a global company through the acquisition of Gyration, an industry pioneer in motion enabled consumer electronics. This was just 10 months after the company started.

It sounds like there is this existing technology that you guys wanted to make disruptive in lowering the price and putting it into a consumer-based product. How did you get funding to start Movea? Europe is actually a great place to start a company. There is a combination of high education, great access to technology, and tax advantages. We operated in stealth mode for the first 10 months and raised 10 million dollars to acquire Gyration and run the operations of the company through European investors.

Could you talk about Movea’s core products? We provide embedded software for mobile, sport, and home entertainment applications. We turn sensor data into meaningful personal information. There are about six in every smartphone with many more expected in the future. We analyze sensor signals using ultra-low power, ondevice sensor hub technology. We lead the market delivering very low power yet high performance services such as user location, activity monitoring and transportation modes. This enables always-on features to be integrated into mobile and wearable devices.

and susceptibility to external parasitics. Movea’s technology is able to compensate for these drawbacks and provide robust output. From the business point of view, we experienced the typical challenges of a startup, financing, positioning, identifying customers, with the immediate challenges of an organization spread globally across multiple cultures, timezones, etc.

What’s the culture like at Movea? My ambition was to have a Silicon Valley type of company. I grew up professionally in the Bay Area where I have enjoyed flat organization, with accessible co-workers independently of their position, the fast pace and intense cross cultural exchanges. I find it to be a very collaborative and intense environment that keeps everybody engaged. There is also a directness to people here that gets to the core of the issues we’re trying to solve with our products. This is what I have tried to establish at Movea, surrounding myself with like-minded people.

What are you most excited about Movea’s future? I see myself as the conductor of a great philharmonic orchestra. The conductor is always catching up with the quality and the talent of the people in front of him. To some extent, I see my position here as continuously keeping the teams busy in the right kind of way with intellectual challenges. What I find extremely exciting is the rise of wearable electronics and all the data we can accumulate between all the devices in our environment mobile and at home. The next thing we have to look at is how we build value out of the data we are collecting. ►

“We turn sensor data into meaningful personal information. There are about six in every smartphone with many more expected in the future.”

What are the biggest challenges you faced while bringing this platform together? From a technical point of view, we want to deliver to end users the best possible experience with cheap and consumer electronics grade sensors, basically trying to deliver very fancy information out of crappy signals. The sensors you have in your smartphone suffer from mis-calibration, drift

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SENSOR TECHNOLOGY

Movea’s Latest Developments Show Pedestrians All the Right Moves,

Indoors & Out Not so long ago, directionally-challenged motorists around the globe exhaled a collective sigh of relief. With the arrival of GPS units for cars, the days of reading a tattered atlas strewn across the steering wheel or asking a gas station attendant for directions became a thing of the past. Since the advent of this new technology, GPS gadgets have kept pedestrians from getting lost pretty much everywhere they go, by car and on foot. Unfortunately, GPS technology doesn’t work so well indoors, where we spend about 90% of our time. Once indoors, the satellite signals that this technology relies upon are only about as strong as a dim light bulb and directionless pedestrians remain indentured to the “You are here” maps common to mega indoor spaces like shopping malls, airports, or underground transportation centers. With the announcement of Movea’s indoor navigation design suite year however, pedestrians can once again exhale a sigh of relief. Just as the arrival of GPS replaced atlases, Movea’s pedestrian navigation technology will make “You are here” maps a relic of the past.

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TECH ARTICLE

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SENSOR TECHNOLOGY

Pushing the Future with the Past Unlike other models that rely on GPS and Wi-Fi, the basis for Movea’s indoor pedestrian navigation technology dates back to the 30s, 40s, and 50s when aircrafts utilized large mechanical gyroscopes, accelerators and compasses to track their heading, acceleration, and rotations around their center of gravity. “By looking at these, computers or navigators could build up a fairly accurate estimation of the aircraft’s trajectory and have an idea where the aircraft was at any given moment,” said Dave Rothenberg, Director of Marketing and Partner Alliances at Movea. Like aircraft navigation systems, pedestrian navigation systems require information about the person’s heading and speed as well, and Movea’s expertise in sensor fusion has helped capitalize on these technologies, “The heading portion of these inputs is heavily dependent on sensor fusion— that is the fusing of data streams from accelerometers, gyroscopes, and magnetometers to arrive at a very accurate estimation of orientation and three-dimensional space,” added Rothenberg. Movea’s indoor navigation systems fuse signals from an accelerometer, a magnetometer, a gyroscope, and a pressure sensor to provide a relative position. “The accelerometer is good enough to get the step cadency. From the step cadency, we have a step-to distance model, where we adaptively estimate

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“Movea’s na the sy

your stride. By looking at the cadency of your stride and the adapted estimation of your stride length, it can estimate your speed. The fourth sensor that is useful is the pressure sensor, which allows us to identify if you are changing floors—so if you are in a shopping mall, or an airport, we want to be able to estimate what floor you might be on,” explained Rothenberg. Starting from an absolute “I am here” position, Movea’s navigation technology can build up a trajectory that allows the system to know the user’s location at any given time.

“I Am Here” Technology The “I am here” location can be established in several ways. If the user is outdoors and enters an indoor location, the system will utilize GPS to establish an “I am here” fix at the point of entry and once established the inertial navigation system can take over. Alternatively, other sensors can be mixed to help compensate for drift or to reset the system providing a new “I am here” location using Wi-Fi or RF fingerprinting of the environment. By matching the signal strengths and access points in the physical space to a database a new “I am here” position can be established. Other “I am here” positioning alternatives include beaconing technology like that used in Apple’s iBeacon, and image recognition. “Imagine walking through a shopping mall and you notice


TECH ARTICLE

avigation technology can build up a trajectory that allows ystem to know the user’s location at any given time.”

I Am Here

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SENSOR TECHNOLOGY

“Maps of indoor spaces can be readily stored and retrieved from Cloud servers.”

that the confidence level of your location represented by the blue circle around your dot that marks where you are is starting to grow as an indication that the inertial system is drifting. If that happens, you can snap a picture of the nearest storefront and you can do a pattern matching to the image database that was previously constructed and there’s your “I am here” function,” Rothenberg explained. Everything needed to establish an “I am here” location is onboard Movea’s navigation system and once established, the only external

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TECH ARTICLE

piece necessary is a map. Maps of indoor spaces can be readily stored and retrieved from Cloud servers, so in the event the user walks into an area where they do not have data coverage, the map will not be lost. “The best case is to bring down the maps that you need so you have them local on the phone, so at that point that’s pretty much all you need for an indoor navigation solution,” noted Rothenberg.

Challenges One the greatest challenges confronting indoor navigation systems is dealing with accuracy. Accuracy, both absolute and relative, can depend on signal fluctuations, how you are holding your phone, and other vagaries. By fusing the signals from

the accelerometer, magnetometer, gyroscope, and pressure sensors Movea has largely solved the issue of relative position. Additionally, Movea has also found a way around the magnetic perturbations which can interfere with maintaining a stable position setting. Continuous auto calibration of the gyroscope and magnetometer to minimize drift, regardless of the phone’s position, is another key area Movea has thrown a lot of resources behind. With these advancements Movea can ensure users are provided with the robust experience they demand. “We are able to support having the phone in portrait or landscape in front of you, or the phone could be in your hand swinging down by your side if you are just walking along,

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SENSOR TECHNOLOGY

the phone could be in your pocket, or in your purse, or it could be up at your ear if you are talking on the phone,” indicated Rothenberg.

A Natural Fit Smartphones and smart devices are a natural fit for Movea’s navigation system, providing consumers an easy means to navigate venues like shopping malls, resorts, or museums. “Any business that occupies any of these spaces would also be a natural stakeholder, as would the big brands who may have locations in every shopping mall across the country who would love to provide targeted content for advertising to a consumer. The service providers who serve those stakeholders— the marketing companies, advertising companies, device manufacturers, and cell service providers—are interested in this area as well,” added Rothenberg. To further foster the advancement of their indoor navigation technologies, Movea has targeted chip manufacturers, mobile phone service providers, and mobile phone OEMs. Movea has also been very successful in promoting the concept of the sensor hub—a dedicated device that can act as a standalone microprocessor, a microprocessor in conjunction with a RF chipset, or a leveraged microprocessor that’s part of embedded controllers. By providing a separate computing device to host and process all the sensor data, Movea’s navigation system can ensure a seamless “always on” service with minimal battery drainage. “A good example of an ‘always-on’ service that is important is if you are walking through town using your GPS device and you go into a shopping mall and your GPS signal fades—now you need to use the onboard inertial navigation system on your phone. If the processing for this is all done on the

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“Movea has partnered with numerous semiconductor manufacturers to enable the integration of their sensor hub devices with Movea’s sensor hub software.”

apps processor on the phone, you’d run down your battery very quickly. So this sensor hub concept is a very low-power, separate processor to handle all of this sensor data and do all of this processing in the background while the phone is in a low-power state,” explained Rothenberg.

Integrating Movea’s Developments Movea has partnered with numerous semiconductor manufacturers to enable the integration of their sensor hub devices with Movea’s sensor hub software. “We also have reference kits and other boards that are available that allow people to play with the technology with APIs and information on how companies can get involved in integrating this into their own solutions,” added Rothenberg. MoveaStudio offers a complete set of tools for developing, debugging, and integrating data fusion algorithms into larger applications. Third parties can both tweak and integrate algorithms and see the subsequent effects of their changes in real time; They can also push their changes to a mobile phone and see


TECH ARTICLE how their algorithms perform while visualizing the data on the Movea Studio tool. MoveaStudio Rothenberg explained, “Facilitates that really quick cycle of finetuning, integrating, and debugging until you get it just right.�

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Sensor Technology: Movea