New IOT platform finalist for MEMS & Sensor industry award

October 12, 2016

i-BLADES Smartcase Finalist for IOT Sensor Technology Showcase


New IoT platform, i-BLADES  Smartcase has been chosen by MEMS & Sensors Industry Group (MSIG) as one of the five finalists bringing new IOT solutions to market for the 2016 MEMS & Sensors Technology Showcase at the 2016 MEMS & Sensors Executive Congress on November 10.

The i-BLADES Smartcase, is a modular phone case that is an important Internet of things enabler. Its a new IoT platform and an opportunity for MEMs manufacturers.  i-BLADES has been nominated for MEMS and sensor industry award because of its capability to bring to market microelectromechanical systems (microscopic devices and sensors known as the eyes and ears of the Internet of Things). Its a new IoT platform that can get MEMs technology to market fast and to scale.

For microelectromechanical  system makers, this creates a new channel to market that crucially hits the mass market mobile segment.  The i-BLADES Smartcase provides a very powerful alterative to the smartphone route to market, as evidenced by a partnership with Bosch Sensortec to integrate the BME680 environmental sensor. It also removes a significant barrier to IoT acceleration which is the proliferation of devices.  The I-BLADES Smartcase eliminates the need for consumers to have extra devices for new MEMs technology powered experiences. As a result consumers will not have to wait to buy the latest smartphone to get the latest MEMS enabled experiences.

The need for a mobile IOT platform

The mobile device must be at the centre of a rapidly expanding world of connected devices and experiences. However, space for micromechanical sensors is at a premium in ever slimmer smartphones.  Smartphones have a hard limit on the number of MEMS technology and sensors they can integrate due to all the additional electronics competing for space. In fact, currently most smartphone have only between 8 – 10.

The lack of space for MEMS technology is a limit to IoT growth.  The only alternative to the lack of access to the smartphone is the creation of numerous handheld devices. This fragments the market for consumers. Requiring new devices for individual applications.  The promise of the Internet of Things needs an integrated  mobile IOT platform. Rather than requiring consumers to piece this together for themselves purchasing dedicated devices for each solution they may choose.  The i-BLADES Smartcase is a single device with numerous potential applications.

The i-BLADES Smartcase a mobile IOT platform

The i-BLADES Smartcase is a phone case with built-in patented micro-thin smart technology. This creates a smart platform within the phone case. This smart platform lets users expand the capabilities of their smartphones by adding removable Smartblades onto the back of the Smartcase. The connection between phone and Smartblade is equivalent to a hard-wired data connection. As a result, new microelectricalmechanical systems and sensors can be quickly integrated within the Smartblade (or inside the Smartcase) and then snapped onto a user’s smartphone when needed.


The i-BLADES platform is a fast to market platform for MEMs technology. The issues of space available for microelectricalmechanical systems on smartphones are eradicated, since the i-BLADES Smartcase is a highly flexible platform.  It can accommodate infinite MEMS devices and use cases. It is also very fast to market compared to the smartphone cycle which can take up to 18 months if you are accepted to that platform.

A host of Smartblades are currently under development solving major smartphone user pain points–everything from battery life, to health to on-the-go entertainment. Users can just snap-on Smartblades for new functions, then snap them off when they do not need them.  This gives MEMs partners access to the mobile market without having to create a separate device or wait for integration into smartphone technologies.

The inventor behind the Smartcase is Jorge Fernandes (CEO i-BLADES, inventor, entrepreneur), who was the pioneer behind the now global use of NFC contactless payments.

i-BLADES and Bosch Sensortec BME680

The i-BLADES partnership with Bosch Sensortec is a case study in how fast and flexible the Smartcase platform is.  The i-BLADES team and Bosch Sensortec took less than 2 months to get the BME 680 (a 4-in 1 sensor that measures air quality) to be operational on the mobile platform – release here.

Now every Smartcase is shipping with the BME 680. This gives consumers who buy an i-BLADES Smartcases the ability to measure and sample air quality instantly and accurately.  This is a major step forwards because being attached to the phone, the i-BLADES case is always with the consumer.  Which makes it incredibly convenient as it samples the air where the consumer is, providing instant and accurate feedback. However, most consumer-based devices that measure air quality are stationary and focus on the home environment.  Additionally, air quality devices until recently were $1000’s, but prices have recently dropped to around $100-$200.  The i-BLADES Smartcase is priced far lower and it comes as an expandable IoT platform not just a one-stop air quality monitor.

As the leading global sensor maker we are very pleased with our partnership with i-BLADES.  Having access to the mass market smartphone consumer quickly is critical for our future success,” said Marcellino Gemelli, Director of Global Business Development, Bosch Sensortec.


6 advantages of the i-BLADES IOT platform

The example of the BME 680 and the partnership with Bosch-Sensortec clearly demonstrated the advantages of the i-BLADES Smartcase as an IoT platform:

  1. Access to millions of consumers – The majority consumers use phone cases . The i-BLADES Smartcase can be adapted for any smartphone, thereby giving MEMS technology partners the opportunity to reach a significant market.
  2. Always with the consumer – The Smartcase protects the consumer’s most personal device. This being always with them makes it a natural IoT platform and enabler.
  3. Fits with existing usage – it is not asking consumers to buy a new device.  Which new MEMs technology often does creating a barrier to take-up.  Most people protect their phones.
  4. Ready made power supply – the i-BLADES Smartcase leverages the power supply from the smartphone. So not requiring an additional power source.
  5. Connectivity – the i-BLADES Smartcase leverages the smartphone’s connectivity.  Ensuring the sensor can readily upload information.
  6. Access to a screen – the i-BLADES Smartcase leverages the smartphone’s screen and UI.  Information can be displayed to the consumer without the creation of a separate device.

The ultimate advantage of the i-BLADES IOT platform is that it does not require the purchase of additional devices or accessories to bring to market new MEMS technology.  These sensors can be accomodated on Smartblades or on the phone case itself.

In addition to bringing access for new technologies to the mass mobile market very quickly, the Smartcase can accommodate a limitless number of IOT solutions that need smartphone power, UI and connectivity. Its proprietary Smart platform allows multiple modules to connect to mobile devices. The power is in the hands of the user who benefits from ultimate choice as to when and what they want to add to their smartphone.

You can pre-order the i-BLADES Smartcase on their website here. Or if you are visiting CES 2017 i-BLADES will be exhibiting in the North Hall. If you are interested in the i-BLADES IoT platform and a MEMs technology maker get in touch at or call +16509063676.

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