Mobility Solutions

International CES 2015 in Las Vegas (January 6-9) Bosch shows smart solutions for a connected world Designed for a convenient, efficient, and secure life

The world is becoming ever more connected. And at times it seems as though the internet and globalization have developed a momentum of their own. Companies like Bosch can help shape these developments, however. At the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2015, Bosch will be showcasing intelligent solutions designed to enable consumers to lead convenient, efficient, and secure lives. These sustainable solutions for a connected world range from smart sensors to smart energy solutions, from eMobility to automated driving, from smart software to smart cities, from telematics to thermotechnology, from home appliances to power tools.

Energy conversion is a core Bosch area of expertise. Bosch offers owners of residential and commercial buildings packages that combine technology and services. Bosch solutions intelligently link and control the generation and consumption of power and heat. This will make the power supply even smarter and more efficient, as well as more decentralized. Bosch’s expertise spans multiple areas here. Its technical systems know-how is the basis of heating and security control systems. The company also offers software and sensor technology as well as services for energy management, remote monitoring, and the handling of business processes. This allows customers to use energy and resources more efficiently, and to reduce costs. The internet of things makes it possible for devices and systems in buildings to communicate with one another.

By 2015, Bosch expects about 75 percent of the world's population to have access to the internet. At the same time, six billion things will be connected to the internet. This development will also bring about major changes in the market for energy and building technology in the coming years, and will pave the way for new services and business models. Bosch already has considerable experience in this realm, for instance with the 50,000 networked heating systems it has already sold. Bosch Security Systems already generates more than half its sales in the video surveillance segment with internet-enabled cameras.

Smart thermostat to control the heating at home via smartphone
Bosch is presenting a wi-fi-enabled remote room controller with a modern touch screen and a corresponding app, which allows users to control their heating systems via their smartphones. Compatible with a wide range of Bosch’s Greenstar gas and oil-fired boilers, the sophisticated smart thermostat allows heating to be adjusted from a smartphone or tablet using a wireless internet connection. The sleek black glass wall-mounted panel is simple to install and connects to the boiler using a low voltage two-wired connection. Through an easy-to-use free app, homeowners can take complete control of their heating and hot water, whether at home, at work, or on holiday. The app not only allows remote adjustment of heating and hot water settings, but also provides valuable information on gas consumption for both heating and hot water, helping homeowners to manage bills in an era of rising energy costs. And users can rely on the extremely high safety and data security standards Bosch has developed. Since all customer data is stored on the controller at the user’s home, privacy is assured – Bosch itself has no access to the data.

Open software platform for the smart home
For a home to be “smart,” it is crucial that all the appliances and systems in the home – e.g., washing machine, heating units, lamps or window blinds – can simply and securely exchange data with each other as well as with smartphones and tablets. ABB, Bosch, and Cisco plan to establish an international joint venture that will develop and operate an open software platform for smart home devices and applications. In addition to developing and operating a software platform, the companies intend to invite appliance electronics manufacturers, home automation vendors, and service providers to join a business ecosystem. The business ecosystem will aim to facilitate collaboration and incorporate a wide range of user requirements when developing the software platform.

Home Connect app connects home appliances from different brands
A common language for all domains is decisive when it comes to the connected home. Bosch is presenting the world's first solution that allows various home appliances from different brands to be controlled and a host of features used with just one app. In addition, Bosch is showcasing the first networked home appliances equipped with this system, including a fridge, an oven, a dishwasher, and a washing machine. The system is designed as an open platform that will keep evolving to cover a growing range of services.

Smart energy system increases efficiency and saves costs
Bosch is demonstrating how smart connectivity can be implemented for electrical and thermal energy using a photovoltaic system combined with the latest in heat pump technology. This solution allows users to consume the lion's share of the electricity they themselves generate from solar power in their own homes – which significantly reduces their electricity costs – while also powering the heat pump so it can extract heat from the air, water, or ground and convert it into energy that can be used for heating or hot water. The Bosch system features an energy management system that knows when the heat pump requires electricity and – provided there has been enough sunshine – answers that need with solar power.

At the heart of the smart control system is e.Control, which is connected to the household's electricity meter and monitors power flows within the home. The system is designed to always prioritize supply to any home appliances currently in operation. Should the photovoltaic system connected to a Bosch inverter generate any surplus power, e.Control sends a signal to the heat pump to heat the hot water tank. This means optimum use is made of the household's solar power, since it avoids feeding any surplus electricity into the grid at too cheap a price. What's more, it relieves the public grid.

Smart energy storage solution
Integrating the Bosch Power Tec BPT-S 5 Hybrid storage solution into this energy system boosts the degree to which a household can make use of self-generated electricity from the photovoltaic system. Even when the sky is overcast or after sunset, the storage system continues to provide the heat pump with a reliable supply of electricity. If the storage system has been integrated, any surplus electricity is sent to the powerful lithium-ion batteries before a signal is sent to the heat pump. When the hot water tank is heated, electrical power is converted into thermal energy, which in effect increases the stored energy. So running such a system is a large step toward achieving independence from the public grid.

Smart security systems for enhanced security at home
Another innovation being presented is a way to access surveillance video remotely. Limited bandwidth makes it impossible to stream HD video on mobile devices whereas dynamic transcoding technology delivers both smooth live video streaming and instant access to HD (1080p) images when needed, regardless of available bandwidth. Combined with the Video Security app, users are allowed access to camera controls, live video streams, and HD images via a mobile device anytime and from anywhere. It also enables users to instantly retrieve the correct video data from hours of recorded material.

Bosch is also showcasing burglar alarm systems. The B-Series intrusion control panels provide convenient security monitoring of homes and small businesses. These flexible panels offer customized security and remote operation from smart phones and tablets. B-Series panels can be programmed to control individual rooms or up to four distinct areas of a home or business property. This enables arming or disarming certain areas – such as a guest suite, sunroom, kitchen, or detached garage – without affecting other rooms. The panels check for open windows and doors, monitor smoke detectors, activate panic devices and perform other services to keep homes and businesses secure. The Remote Security Control app allows system operation from iOS or Android devices. Arm or disarm the system, check status and control monitored devices over the panel’s cellular connection, the internet, or through a local wireless network using a hand-held device. Event notifications – such as alarms or other warnings – can also be sent directly to mobile phones to keep owners informed about the status of their homes or businesses while they are away.

In addition, Bosch is presenting the Z-Wave Home Control Gateway. This solution allows Bosch B-Series control panels to be connected with Z-Wave devices including lighting controls, door locks, temperature sensors, IP cameras, and more, in order to provide customers with home automation and remote monitoring capabilities. Programming possibilities include automatically arming the security system when an exterior door is locked or disarming the system when the door is unlocked. When a user leaves home, tapping an “away” button on a smartphone can also trigger the doors to lock, the security system to arm, interior lights to turn off and the thermostat to adjust to conserve energy and reduce costs. These are just a few of the options available for effortless home control, as the intuitive wizard makes it easy for integrators to program trigger- or schedule-based automation tailored for each customer. A web interface allows the user access to a system dashboard and home control via an iOS or Android smartphone or other web-enabled device.

Smart mobility solutions: more safety and convenience on the road
20 years ago, the internet revolutionized computing. Over the next few years, it will revolutionize the car. At the CES, Bosch is demonstrating how it is making cars an active part of the internet – and bringing drivers a range of benefits. Bosch already has extensive know-how in all relevant areas. The company offers hardware that establishes the connection to the outside world, a flexible basic software suite that brings together service providers and users, as well as numerous related services.

The physical enabler for any smart solution is Bosch’s connectivity control unit. This small box is connected to the in-car network and comprises a GMS module for communication, and usually also a GPS module that provides data on the current position – important information for many services. Bosch offers the unit in various configurations for applications in passenger cars, trucks, as well as motorcycles. As early as 2016, for example, Bosch expects every new long-haul commercial vehicle in Europe and the United States to be offered with a networking solution.

The wholly-owned subsidiary Bosch Software Innovations offers a modular software suite that can be flexibly utilized. For example, it has been in use as the basis for a networked and easy-to-use vehicle charging infrastructure in Singapore since 2011 and as the basis for a fleet management service in Germany since 2013. From 2015, it will form the platform for an innovative intermodal transportation concept in Stuttgart.

Bosch’s new telematics services provide greater transparency and a clearer overview for fleet operators. Via the interface for the on-board diagnosis (OBD) system in the vehicle, journey and service data is sent to Bosch for data analysis. On the basis of this evaluated data, the fleet operator can optimize operating and maintenance times. Thanks to the integration of GPS vehicle tracking, services such as an electronic logbook and a theft warning system are also available. This helps to reduce the overall cost of the vehicle.

A truly lifesaving solution is the in-vehicle emergency notification service eCall. If the system detects that the vehicle has been involved in an accident, this information is sent to a Bosch communication center which is manned around the clock. The center’s multilingual associates contact the driver and alert the police as well as emergency services if necessary.

Bosch is pushing connectivity forward in workshops
Connectivity doesn’t end when the car has to go in for service or repair. Since vehicle electronics are getting ever more powerful and complex, Bosch has made it possible for workshops to access certain vehicle data helpful for error diagnosis and repair online. Bosch’s “Flex Inspect” diagnostic system can automatically read out the fault memory, check the battery, tire inflation pressure, and chassis geometry. On the basis of this, a customer service advisor is able to immediately discuss any necessary repairs with the driver. During the repair work, the technician can make use of augmented reality technology. After focusing the diagnostics tablet computer’s camera on the engine compartment, relevant information such as repair instructions and necessary tools are superimposed on the image. The time-consuming consultation of service manuals is thus unnecessary. Even parts that are hidden behind covers or the dashboard can be depicted as three-dimensional images. Error diagnosis and repair has never been so easy.

New display techniques and an appealing smartphone integration solution
On one hand, new connected services are leading to an ever increasing amount of information. On the other hand, driver distraction must be minimized. At the CES, Bosch is showcasing technical solutions that help to prioritize information and display it in a highly intuitive way. A particularly attractive approach is display-based instrument clusters. These replace conventional displays and project all of the instrument, navigation, and multimedia information into the driver's field of vision. Depending on the situation and the driver’s wishes, they offer different layouts. Two Bosch solutions for fully display-based instrument clusters are already in series production in the BMW i8 and the Audi TT, with more to come. Another cost-effective solution is the Bosch combiner head-up display. The system does not project the information onto the windshield but instead onto a small special plastic screen positioned below it. This image is superimposed on the scenery outside the vehicle in such a way that these appear to merge with one another at a distance of around two meters in front of the vehicle. Since 2014, the system has been installed in a variety of BMW Group vehicles.

Connectivity with the outside world is currently achieved mainly via the smartphone. With its mySPIN solution, Bosch is offering a highly appealing way to integrate Android-based phones as well as iOS-based ones. mySPIN creates a perfect device-vehicle link and ensures much safer and more reliable in-car use. Other Bosch infotainment systems being showcased at the CES demonstrate natural voice input or a navigation system that offers a proactive driving strategy based on real-time traffic info. To keep the new assistance and convenience functions up-to-date, the Bosch subsidiary ESCRYPT is showcasing a solution for secure wireless software updates.

Assisted driving and e-bike demos at the Vehicle Intelligence Marketplace
The mobility of the future is electrified, automated, and connected. At the outdoor area of the vehicle intelligence marketplace, Bosch is showcasing innovations that bring us a step closer to automated driving. A demonstration vehicle featuring the Bosch traffic jam assistant will prove that self-guided driving in heavy traffic already has become reality. The car can brake, accelerate, and steer within its lane completely independently. The driver still has to monitor the vehicle, but the overall burden is much lower. Visitors are also welcome to try out e-bikes of various brands featuring Bosch e-bike drive units on a dedicated course. There will also be an overview of Bosch’s various sensor technologies as well as its wide range of electromobility solutions, from e-bikes and e-scooters to hybrid and fully-electric vehicles.

Smart devices, software, and sensors
Bosch is the global market leader in the area of microelectromechanical sensors (MEMS), a key technology when it comes to connecting things over the internet. Today, every second smartphone in the world is equipped with Bosch sensors. Bosch's strategic aim is to offer solutions for connected mobility, networked production, as well as for networked energy systems and buildings. Intelligent sensors represent the next level of technical advancement. These are equipped with a radio interface and a microcontroller. As a result, sensors are able to transmit relevant data via the internet, for instance to mobile end devices. Software integration is decisive for the next wave of advancement in micromechanics, which are already widespread in automotive and consumer electronics.

All objects can be fitted with sensors and wi-fi devices and assigned their very own web address for exchanging data. This connectivity is the cornerstone of the internet of things. It is what makes connected living happen. Bosch provides sensors for a wide range of uses in the automotive and consumer electronics applications. Every second smartphone in the world is equipped with a Bosch sensor. Following the technological trend to a greater range of measurable variables and increased intelligence, Bosch Sensortec will unveil a new multi-functional sensor at CES 2015 that integrates four measurands, enabling a new range of applications in areas such as consumer electronics, wearables, and the IoT. Bosch brand Akustica will also highlight its high-performance, HD voice microphone portfolio.

The aim is to transmit only relevant information to the internet, and not raw data. This local data processing calls for the special kind of systems know-how that Bosch brings to the table. But there is practically no limit to what can still be connected via sensors. As a result, things that were free of electronics in the past, such as doors and windows, will be able to transmit data on their status to the internet. In brief, micromechanics make the internet of things possible. With its new company Bosch Connected Devices and Solutions GmbH, Bosch aims to develop new solutions in this realm. The company focuses on the segments Smart Home, Transport, Logistics and Traffic, Smart Activity, and Connected Industry.

A new dimension in charging: Bosch Wireless Charging System
Bosch is the world's first supplier to enable the advantages of inductive energy transfer to be used with cordless tools. With its Wireless Charging System, Bosch is presenting a new dimension in charging technology and providing new ways to make working with cordless tools efficient, cost-saving, and time-saving. The technology, which is used in other areas in devices such as charging stations for electric toothbrushes and recently also in cellphones, is based on contactless energy transfer. An alternating magnetic field is generated in the transmitter using a coil. The receiver also contains a coil which is penetrated by the alternating magnetic field. This induces a voltage and generates a current flow. In the case of Bosch's Wireless Charging System, this means that the charger emits a magnetic field which is received by the battery and transformed into charging current. However, the power transferred is more than 50 times greater than that used in ordinary electric toothbrushes (one watt), in order to reach the same charging times as those provided by conventional power tool battery chargers.

3D printer for creative and functional purposes
The Bosch brand Dremel is presenting the Dremel 3D Idea Builder, the most user-friendly 3D printing experience on the market. This adds a new dimension to the brand’s robust portfolio of versatile tool systems. The Idea Builder is yet another high-quality, easy-to-use tool from Dremel designed to inspire and empower the end users to build on their own ideas with the support and mentorship of the Dremel Experts. Through a strategic partnership with Autodesk, Dremel will provide free print-ready 3D models and simple design tools, while continuing to release new design tools on to coach users through the building process.

Overview of Bosch at CES

January 5, 2015, 8 a.m. PDT
Bosch Press Conference
with Dr. Werner Struth,
Member of the Board of Management, Robert Bosch GmbH
Mandalay Bay South Convention Center, Level 2, Ballroom F

January 6-9, 2015

Bosch Booth 71032
Sands Expo, Smart Home Marketplace

Bosch Outdoor Experience
Bosch eMobility World
Bosch eBike Ride Course
Bosch Driver Assistance Driving Experience on Las Vegas city streets
Las Vegas Convention Center, Vehicle Intelligent Marketplace
Gold Lot near North Hall

January 6, 3:30-4:30 p.m. PDT
Panel “Getting to Low Power and Maximum Functionality through Sensor Fusion” with Stefan Finkbeiner, General Manager & CEO of Bosch Sensortec
Venetian Hotel, Level 1, Marco Polo 702 conference room

January 7, 11 a.m.-12 p.m. PDT
Keynote panel “Fast Innovation: Disrupt or Be Disrupted”
with Dr. Werner Struth,
Member of the Board of Management, Robert Bosch GmbH
and John Chambers, CEO, Cisco
Theater of the Westgate Hotel (formerly the LVH hotel).

January 7, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. PDT
Panel “Obstacles on the Road to Self-Driving Cars" with
Dr. Dirk Hoheisel, Member of the Board of Management, Robert Bosch GmbH
Las Vegas Convention Center, North Hall, N261 conference room

January 7, 1-2 p.m. PDT
Panel "Evolution of the Smart Home" with
Dr. Rainer Kallenbach, CEO of Bosch Software Innovations
Venetian Hotel, Level 1, Room Casanova 605

January 7, 3:30-4:30 p.m. PDT
Panel "Eye on Automotive Technology" with
Jim Fish, Bosch Automotive Service Solutions
Las Vegas Convention Center, North Hall, N261 conference room

Contact persons for press inquiries:
Christian Hoenicke, phone: +49 711 811-6285
Stephan Kraus, phone: +49 711 811-6286
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  • December 18, 2014
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Bosch Engineering GmbH Development partner for the automotive industry Engineering services made by Bosch

Company: Bosch Engineering GmbH is a wholly owned subsidiary of Robert Bosch GmbH. Founded in 1999 with 13 associates, Bosch Engineering is now a leading development service provider for the automotive industry and employs 1,950 associates worldwide, 1,620 of them in Germany at the company’s Abstatt, Holzkirchen, Ingolstadt, Weissach and Braunschweig locations. By harnessing its own strength and by acquiring erphi electronic GmbH in Holzkirchen near Munich, the company has grown steadily. Other events contributing to this growth have been the integration of Bosch Motorsport in 2003 as well as the founding of Bosch General Aviation Technology GmbH in Austria in 2008. The Robert Bosch development center in Abstatt has been Bosch Engineering’s headquarters since 2005, which operates project offices located near customers as well as further locations in Germany, Japan, North America, France, Austria, China, Brazil, the UK, and Italy.

Engineering Services: Bosch Engineering develops electronics systems for an efficient, safe, and connected mobility for automotive and non-automotive applications. In addition to commanding a wide range of development disciplines – such as electronics, IT, and mechanical engineering – the company’s associates also have comprehensive connectivity expertise. The company harnesses all these different skills and combines them with a solid foundation of tried-and-tested Bosch large-scale series production technology and a start-up mentality. On this basis, the associates develop custom electronics systems and software solutions for over 800 customer projects every year.

“From diggers to sports cars, snowmobiles to trams – our engineering services begin with a customer-specific concept and end with the green light for series production. Customers get Bosch quality combined with the flexibility and speed of a project-oriented company,” says Bernhard Bihr, president of Bosch Engineering GmbH.

Development areas
Bosch Engineering’s service portfolio comprises the development of systems, functions, and software related to powertrains, safety, convenience, driving dynamics, cockpit, and infotainment – as well as their electrical and electronic integration. In addition to the individual vehicle systems, another of the company’s key focus areas is overall vehicle development. System experts consider the interdependencies and interactions between the vehicle’s powertrain and driving dynamics, right from the early stages of development. This makes it easy to weigh up the pros and cons of a variety of solutions in terms of fuel consumption, CO2 emissions or driving dynamics. Using their comprehensive systems expertise and by networking vehicle systems, the Abstatt engineers also develop innovative and connected driving functions as well as integrated electric and electronic systems.

Powertrain systems: Traditional combustion engines, engines that use alternative fuels, or hybrid and electric drives – Bosch Engineering handles all development tasks relating to powertrains. Developers work with customers to define actions for reducing emissions and fuel consumption and boosting performance; some of these actions target the engine, others focus on other components. The associates develop engine control functions and software and apply these not only at the test bench, but also in the vehicle all the way to series release. At the customer’s request, Bosch Engineering also designs the complete powertrain and builds prototypes and demonstrators. At its headquarters in Abstatt near Stuttgart, Bosch Engineering also operates a state-of-the-art test center featuring engine test benches and dynamometers.

Safety, convenience, and driving dynamics systems: Bosch Engineering looks at the interaction of brakes, steering, and chassis when developing systems for convenience, driving dynamics, and active and passive safety. This includes adapting these systems to the needs of high-performance sports cars, for instance, and factoring in the exceptional weight conditions of special vehicles as well as the extreme environments in which they are used. Using integrated vehicle dynamics control, Bosch Engineering links together driving dynamics systems to increase convenience, agility, and individuality. Whether you’re looking for a comfortable or a sporty ride, the car’s driving characteristics can be further tailored to the driving situation.

Cockpit and infotainment systems: Bosch Engineering develops ergonomic control and display concepts that are easy to operate and that provide an intuitive experience. The developers network the information displays in the driver’s field of vision with in-vehicle drive, safety, and convenience systems to form a high-performance communication network.

Electric and electronic systems: Bosch Engineering also provides its customers with systems expertise for networking electric and electronic systems to achieve an optimum flow of energy and information in the vehicle. Services range from drafting and optimizing the system architecture and designing on-board communication and energy systems, to providing support when integrating systems into the vehicle.

Motor racing: Bosch Engineering coordinates all the Bosch Group’s motor racing activities, developing and manufacturing professional motor racing technology for automaker racing teams as well as for major racing series. The company is the exclusive supplier to the DTM German Touring Car Masters series and the FIA Formula 3 European Championship, and is Audi Motorsport’s development partner for the Audi R18 e-tron quattro hybrid racing car in the FIA World Endurance Championship. Bosch Motorsport also supplies several teams that compete in the FIA Formula One World Championship. The Bosch Group can look back on a long history of motor racing – Bosch technology made its first appearance in the sport back in 1901.

Application areas
Bosch Engineering developers have taken what began with sports cars and luxury vehicles when the company was founded, and widened the scope of applications so that today it includes commercial vehicles, off-highway and recreational vehicles, rail vehicles as well as industry. For instance, the company developed a collision warning system for trams that is based on radar and video sensors, and a control unit for fuel cell systems for off-highway applications.

Video links:
Hybrid concept car:
Networking of vehicle systems:
Integrated vehicle dynamics control:
Forward collision warning systems for trams:
Footage Bosch Engineering:
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  • December 16, 2014
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Christmas 2014 – High-tech gifts high on wish lists Sophisticated Bosch sensors under the Christmas tree Sensors as electronic “sensory organs”

  • New and in demand: fitness wristbands
  • One in every four Germans plans to purchase a tablet PC
  • Bosch is the global market leader for micromechanical sensors
        Going high-tech for the holidays: Christmas gifts for many Germans will
        include smartphones and tablet PCs. This trend means fascinating sensors
        are becoming commonplace. Bosch equips many of these must-have
        devices with tiny “sensory organs.”

Stuttgart – This year, many of the Christmas gifts waiting under the tree to be unwrapped will be modern electronic devices. Roughly one in four Germans (26 percent) is planning to purchase a smartphone or give one away as a gift, and just as many people would like to do the same with tablet PCs, according to a representative survey conducted by BITKOM, the major association of the digital industry in Germany. Some of the world’s most sensitive gauges are installed in such devices, thus finding their way into consumers’ homes. Tiny sensors are responsible for determining the position of cell phones and tablets, which then turn the image on screen in the corresponding direction.

Smaller than the diameter of an atom
The sophisticated detection elements in the sensors (MEMS sensors, microelectromechanical systems), which measure just a few millimeters in length, are manufactured out of silicon. The moving structures created within them are no bigger than a few thousandths of a millimeter. Whenever a sensor is moved, a very small electric current is generated that provides information on position, geomagnetic field, and acceleration – all details that make it possible to control and operate cell phones and tablets. The intuitive operation of these devices accounts for a large part of the fascination they have for users.

The finest movements measured in the sensors occur within a space no larger than the diameter of an atom. Bosch is the global market leader in the field of sensors. Approximately three million sensors are manufactured every day and installed in roughly every second smartphone worldwide.

Fitness trackers are new on the list of the most popular high-tech devices, according to the BITKOM survey. The survey reveals that 16 percent of people in Germany would like to purchase a fitness wristband or give one away as a gift. For the first time, these fitness trackers are among the most popular high-tech gifts. MEMS sensors are also used in these devices, for example, to turn the jolts and vibrations measured while the wearer is jogging into a motion profile.

A world record-setting sensor
Bosch has set a world record, creating the world’s smallest and most energy-efficient sensor unit – the BMI160 – to ensure that all these devices have as long a service life as possible. Among other things, an acceleration sensor and a yaw-rate sensor (gyroscope) are found in the unit’s tiny housing, which measures 2.5 x 3.0 x 0.8 mm. The sensor gauges the position of cell phones with great accuracy. Other devices that benefit from sensors are remote controls, game controls, smart glasses, and head-mounted displays. The latter are worn like ski goggles, and give their wearers the sense of being in a virtual space. When they move their head, the virtual image changes accordingly.

Conventional sensors often consume a lot of power. But even when the BMI160’s acceleration sensor and gyroscope are in full operational mode, typical power consumption amounts to a mere 950 microamperes, which is less than half the market standard – a world record.

“That is why our chip can now run the entire day. It no longer needs to be switched off from time to time to conserve the smartphone’s battery,” says Torsten Ohms, project manager for the development of the chip at Bosch Sensortec. This means that the cell phone can now use the sensors to record all the user’s activity throughout the day. At the end of the day, it can then show them how much energy they used up going to work, at the office, and walking up and down stairs. “Users looking to lose weight, for instance, can choose their evening meal based on how many calories they burned over the course of the day,” Ohms says. In the days immediately following Christmas, this may prove to be one feature of the latest high-tech gifts that is in particularly high demand.

Sensors at the 2015 CES
Bosch will be attending the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show from January 5-9, 2015, where it will present its smart sensors that facilitate intelligent solutions for a connected world, all designed to make life more comfortable, more efficient, and safer.

Link to BITKOM survey:
Background information on record-breaking sensor:
Background information on MEMS sensors:
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  • December 11, 2014
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Bosch plugs The perfect connection An optimum blend of reliability and durability

  • German premium cars feature up to 4,000 connectors
  • Total annual sales of seven billion euros
  • International Bosch center of competence for connectors
They may generally be small and unassuming, but no car can drive without them. Connectors carry electricity and electrical signals to vehicle components such as the airbag, antilock braking system, or control units. A single German premium car can contain up to 4,000 of these connections; in a compact car, the number is just under half. There are up to 20 such connections in each high-quality car seat with heating and electric adjustment, and that number is growing. Today, the global sales of connectors for cars total around seven billion euros. This figure will increase over the next three years by more than 50 percent to reach around 11 million euros.

The demands placed on these delicate parts are enormous: even after hundreds of thousands of kilometers and intensive long-term use, they have to work exactly as they did on day one. This is a topic of great concern to Bosch as an automotive supplier, because ultimately it’s not just Bosch components that have to work faultlessly, but also the plugs that connect those components to the vehicle.

Many drivers don’t realize the significance of connectors until the moment when the air conditioning, navigation system, or any one of dozens of sensors and actuators stops working. Global breakdown statistics show that this is often caused by problems with the electronics and faulty connectors.

Bosch has some 40 engineers working to develop new plugs. One of them is Andreas Vogt, one of 14 members of the international center of competence for connectors. “We see to it that other manufacturers’ connectors work seamlessly with our products,” Vogt says.

Plugs ranging from milliamperes to high-voltage power
In Vogt’s office at Bosch’s Schwieberdingen location near Stuttgart, the whole world of plugs is brought together in a tiny space. The entire center of competence is piled high with dozens of crates, their contents meticulously sorted, full of products from a wide range of manufacturers. These plugs look nothing like the ones we’re familiar with at home. Some of the models on Vogt’s desk bristle with up to 300 extremely fine pins. Some contacts are just a millimeter wide and designed to handle currents in the milliampere range. Things couldn’t be more different with the connectors for hybrid or all-electric vehicles, which boast connectors that can weigh several kilograms and cope with currents of around 500 amperes.

These are just two of several thousand varieties. Plugs for U.S. automakers have to meet slightly different requirements than those for Asian companies, and European plugs are different once again. But regardless of the market, all connectors must be able to withstand hard impacts with the curb, vibrations caused by bumpy roads, and rapid acceleration. Protection against the ingress of moisture is also a necessity, since corroded contacts can cause the electronics to fail. Finally, all connectors for passenger cars must still be fully functional even after 15 years or a minimum of 240,000 kilometers. The limit for commercial vehicles is even higher at 1.5 million kilometers.

What plugs sound like
As technology advances, so too do the demands placed on connectors – they have to be made ever smaller and more complex. Another factor is the difficulty of combining plastic with metal. But those whose job it is to think about plugs have to go beyond their technical functioning to consider their economics: a given connector might have to be fitted quickly and reliably hundreds of times in succession. “Acoustic feedback is an important consideration for some automakers,” Vogt reports. “The satisfying sound of connectors snapping shut is a good way to let employees on the production line know they have fitted them properly – even if they can’t see them while they’re fitting them.”

And the more pins a plug has, the more power it takes to put it in place. “Pure muscle power just won’t do it,” says Vogt, as he tries – and fails – to press shut a connector measuring four centimeters by five. The only way to shut it is by using the appropriate lever. This lever has an output of 70 Newtons – more than enough to shut the connector tight. With a short click, the connector is in place inside the vehicle and ready to carry current and data over hundreds of thousands of kilometers.
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  • December 09, 2014
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