Nordic Semiconductor today announces that Sophia Antipolis, France-based Insight SiP, a designer and manufacturer of ultra-miniaturized electronic components, has launched a wearable tag designed to help people maintain social distancing during the Covid-19 pandemic. The ‘Security Bubble Covid-19’ device employs Insight SiP’s ‘ISP3010’ Bluetooth® Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) and Ultra-Wideband (UWB) smart module, featuring Nordic’s nRF52832 System-on-Chip (SoC).
Designed to be worn in private, commercial, and municipal workplaces, the Security Bubble generates a “virtual barrier” around each wearer to help them comply with government health and safety recommendations following the Covid-19 pandemic. Such recommendations include maintaining a 1.5 to 2 m distance from another person to dramatically decrease the chance of infection from coronavirus. In addition to being worn, the device can also be integrated into other products, for example identification tags, wearables, security equipment, personal protective equipment (PPE), or hard hats.
Bluetooth LE and UWB
In operation, the devices can be programmed to enter ‘collision mode’ and emit an alarm, flash, or vibrate if two wearers move within a predefined distance of one another, allowing individuals to immediately resume a safe distance to avoid possible infection. The tags can be configured to alert the wearer at a precise distance between one and two meters, or other required distances. By combining Bluetooth LE and UWB, the precision of position and distance measurement is considerably enhanced compared with either technology alone and makes the Security Bubble accurate to within a few centimeters. The device is powered by the nRF52832 SoC’s 64MHz, 32-bit Arm® Cortex® M4 processor with floating point unit (FPU), which has ample computational resources to supervise the complex UWB time sequencing.
The Security Bubble Covid-19 device is powered by a rechargeable battery providing 48 hours battery life between wireless recharge, 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.
Powerful Arm processor
Nordic’s nRF52832 multiprotocol SoC combines the Arm processor, with a 2.4GHz multiprotocol radio (supporting Bluetooth 5.2, ANT™, and proprietary 2.4GHz RF protocol software) featuring -96dB RX sensitivity, with 512kB Flash memory and 64kB RAM. The SoC is supplied with Nordic’s S132 SoftDevice, a Bluetooth 5-certifed RF software protocol stack for building advanced Bluetooth LE applications. The S132 SoftDevice features Central, Peripheral, Broadcaster and Observer Bluetooth LE roles, supports up to twenty connections, and enables concurrent role operation.
“We have enjoyed a successful partnership with Nordic for more than 10 years, and we appreciate the company’s engineering and production expertise,” says Michel Beghin, CEO, Insight SiP. “This, and the ease with which the nRF52832 SoC can be programmed with the help of a large library of peripheral drivers was one of the key factors behind our decision to use the SoC.”