Nordic Semiconductor today announces that London, U.K.-based pet wearables developer PitPatPet has selected Nordic’s nRF52810 Bluetooth® Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) System-on-Chip (SoC) to provide the wireless connectivity and processing power for its canine health tracker, the ‘PitPat’.
The IP67 rated waterproof PitPat weighs only 15g, measures 34 by 32 by 15mm, and easily attaches to a dog’s collar. An integrated 3-axis accelerometer tracks the dog’s motion throughout the day, and the proprietary algorithms interpret this data to identify five specific activity states—walking, running, playing, pottering, and resting—and how long the dog spends in each state. Step and exertion data enables the device to estimate the distance covered by the dog when walking, and how many calories it has burned.
Using Bluetooth LE wireless connectivity provided by the Nordic SoC, this data is synced to the owner’s Bluetooth 4.0 (and later) smartphone or tablet, where from the associated ‘PitPat’ app the user can review the dog’s activity data compared to guidelines for over 200 different breeds, as well as set target goals and track progress towards those goals. A weight management function allows the user to keep a history of the dog’s weight and work towards its ideal weight target.
PitPat employs a CR2032 coin cell providing a battery life of up to two years in standard operation between replacement, thanks in part to the ultra-low power characteristics of the Nordic SoC. The nRF52810 is engineered to minimize power consumption, with features such as the 2.4GHz radio’s 4.6mA peak RX/TX currents, and a fully-automatic power management system that reduces power consumption by up to 80 percent compared with Nordic’s nRF51 Series SoCs.
Nordic’s nRF52810 multiprotocol SoC combines a 64MHz, 32-bit Arm® Cortex® M4 processor, with a 2.4GHz multiprotocol radio (supporting Bluetooth 5, ANT™, and proprietary 2.4GHz RF protocol software) featuring reduced radio energy consumption, with 192kB Flash memory and 24kB RAM. The nRF52810 SoC is supplied with the latest version of Nordic’s S112 SoftDevice, Bluetooth 5-compliant RF protocol software.
“The nRF52810 SoC’s Arm processor is a major factor behind the improvement in power consumption over our previous design,” says Jake Apsey, Embedded Software Engineer, PitPatPet. “Our data processing executes much, much faster, which allows the device to revert to sleep mode quicker and therefore increasing battery life.
“Right out of the box, the Nordic Power Profiler Kit [PPK] was able to show us fine details in power consumption during Bluetooth LE events and short wake-up periods. This allowed us to immediately make optimizations to, for example, our SPI transfer timings.
“In addition, the range of reference designs provided by Nordic were vital in allowing us to quickly produce some hardware to start testing with away.”