Nordic Semiconductor today announces that London, U.K.-based DnaNudge, has selected Insight SiP’s ‘ISP1507-AX’ RF module integrating Nordic’s nRF52832 Bluetooth® Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) System-on-Chip (SoC), to provide the wireless connectivity and processing power for its ‘DnaBand’. The wrist-worn DnaBand enables users to make food choices suitably aligned with their unique DNA, as well as monitoring activity levels.
After a one-time-use cheek swab test that analyzes and maps the user’s genetic profile to key traits, the results are loaded onto a capsule that can be worn as ‘digital DNA’ on the wrist, fitted in the DnaBand wearable. Once the device is linked to the user’s Bluetooth 4.0 (and later) smartphone using low latency Bluetooth LE wireless connectivity enabled by the Nordic SoC, the user can then scan the barcodes of approximately half a million food products and instantly have the device determine if the food is suitable for them based on their unique genetic traits. For example, if an individual has a high sensitivity to sugar, saturated fat, or salt, and scans the barcode on a product with high levels of these ingredients, the DnaBand and smartphone app will notify them, and steer them towards a healthier alternative.
Once the barcode is scanned, the device’s LED display will flash either green, to indicate a suitable food choice, or red, to indicate a choice less well matched to their DNA profile. When the wearable is also used to monitor the user’s activity, an amber LED indicates that a scanned product that might usually be suitable is not recommended because of the wearer’s levels of activity.
From the iOS and Android ‘DnaNudge’ app the user can view their genetic report, view their scan history and lists of alternative product recommendations, scan products directly via their smartphone camera, as well as nominate specific ingredients they would like to avoid to assist the device in improving product choices. DNA traits can also be shared with family and friends to assist when shopping for a group or family.
The wearable is powered by a Li-Poly rechargeable battery and typically provides five days battery life in ‘green bar’ mode (where it also monitor’s the user’s activity levels), or up to 35 days when configured to return to sleep mode after scanning a product’s barcode and not monitor activity. The extended battery life is thanks in part to the ultra-low power characteristics of the Nordic SoC. The nRF52832 has been engineered to minimize power consumption with features such as the 2.4GHz radio’s 5.5mA 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 nRF52832 multiprotocol SoC combines a 64MHz, 32-bit Arm® Cortex® M4 processor with floating point unit (FPU), with a 2.4GHz multiprotocol radio (supporting Bluetooth 5.2, ANT™, and proprietary 2.4GHz RF protocol software) featuring -96-dB RX sensitivity, with 512kB Flash memory and 64kB RAM. The nRF52832 SoC is supplied with Nordic’s S132 SoftDevice, a Bluetooth 5.2-certified RF software protocol stack for building advanced Bluetooth LE applications. The S132 SoftDevice features Central, Peripheral, Broadcaster and Observer Bluetooth LE roles, and supports up to twenty connections. Insight SIP’s ISP1507 integrates the nRF52832 SoC together with crystals, matching and antenna in a miniature 8 by 8 by 1mm System-in-Package module to provide a “ready to use” fully-certified RF component.
“The wrist-worn DnaBand runs its application entirely on the nRF52832 SoC inside the Insight SIP 1507-AX RF module,” says Ali Mehmed, Senior Hardware Engineer, DnaNudge. “As such the high level of integration including integrated antenna, highly capable processor, large memory capacity, and low power consumption were key features in the design. The ultra-miniature module made it an ideal choice to make a slim ergonomic wearable wristband design.”
“In a sense we had no real choice other than Nordic. We simply couldn’t find anything else on the market that offered the same combination of features we required.”