Connectivity solutions integrate into portable and body-worn devices

Louise Smyth

An innovative, recently launched series sets out to deliver advanced plug-and-use connectivity that’s easy to integrate into portable and body-worn applications such as cameras, radio systems, sensors, lights, GPSs, tablets, night-vision goggles, exoskeletons, switches, hubs and batteries.

The new Fischer LP360 connector – the first product in the Freedom series – has been designed to facilitate integration, maximise usability and optimise cable management in the defence, security, medical, industrial and civil engineering industries.

The rugged connector has seven power and signal contacts with USB 2.0 and Ethernet, and features three new technology innovations: the absence of a key code for 360° mating freedom; a ball-locking mechanism with sealing and variable pre-defined force; and specially designed plug pins sealed to IP68 with a membrane.

The Freedom series thus enables threefold usability, reducing cognitive, weight and reliability burdens with easy, intuitive mating, easy cleaning for improved durability, and a compact, low-profile design that offers easy wearable integration and panel-mounted cable assembly.

In certain applications, when the plug is integrated directly into the housing of devices such as cameras, sensors, lights or GPSs, the series can completely eliminate cabling. In that sense, it offers the cable-free wireless connectivity without the potential hassle of true wireless connections, and thus paves the way for further expansion into breakthrough connectivity solutions for the Internet of Things (IoT).

Usability is key

This smart connectivity solution has been designed from the outset with customers’ needs in mind. It’s easy to use, with 360° mating, it’s easy to clean, and it offers enhanced functionality with both power and signal. Designers will find it very easy to integrate connectors such as the new Fischer LP360 into clothing such as tactical and security vests and protective personal equipment (PPE).

The Fischer Freedom series optimises cable management with an extremely reliable connectivity ecosystem designed to simplify wiring by reducing cables and loose connections if not building the connectivity foundation directly into a vest or other garment. Thanks to its 360° mating freedom, with no key code, the connector can be plugged and routed in any direction to ensure that the cable can always travel a straight path to the connected device. No more twists and turns means shorter cables in the equipment worn by dismounted soldiers, healthcare professionals or patients, civil engineers, surveyors and operators, and law enforcement officers and security guards. Shorter cables reduce both weight and complexity.

One example of the next-generation wearables that innovative connectivity technology such as this series is enabling is an intelligent vest that engineers designed to serve as a hub for multiple portable and body-worn devices connected to a shared data and power bus. This design reduces cable clutter and enhances usability while simultaneously making the equipment lighter and faster to set up.

Wim Vanheertum is with Fischer Connectors.

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