Bluetooth Low Energy customizable sports wearable platform allows fans to engage with club via smartband


The platform includes a content management system, app, and smartband

Turnpike Group’s Fantom smartband employs Nordic’s nRF52832 SoC to wirelessly deliver wearer in-game live stats via Cloud-connected smartphone app.

Nordic Semiconductor today announces that Turnpike Group, a Stockholm, Sweden-based Internet of Things (IoT) company, has selected Nordic’s nRF52832 Bluetooth® Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) System-on-Chip (SoC) to provide the wireless connectivity for its ‘Fantom’ sports fan engagement wearable platform.

The Fantom platform comprises a content management system, smartphone app, and smartband designed to allow developers to quickly build end-to-end wearable applications tailored to the sports market — for example, the platform has already been used to develop a smartband and app for fans of Manchester City Football Club. The platform is also launched for connected staff within retail, hospitality, factory management and medical applications.

Along with common smartband functionality including time and activity monitoring, Fantom can be developed to provide the wearer with in-game live match statistics, a countdown to kick-off time for the next match, relevant breaking news, and interactive voting on bespoke polls like player of the match awards, as well as other hands-free capabilities such as live messaging, access control, and emergency calls. 
We quickly realised that the extensive firmware resources provided by Nordic are what set them apart from the competition
Björn Ögren, Turnpike Group

Nordic’s nRF52832 SoC provides low latency Bluetooth LE wireless connectivity between the Fantom smartband and an Android- or iOS-compatible Fantom app on the user’s Bluetooth 4.0 (and later) smartphone, which in turn allows bidirectional data exchange with any Cloud-based platform used by the professional sports club, its sponsor, or other partners.

The Fantom smartband incorporates an 80mAh battery providing approximately two days of battery life between recharge, thanks in part to the 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 SoC. This battery cycle time can also be dynamically adjusted by balancing screen time based on the application.

Nordic’s nRF52832 multiprotocol SoC combines an Arm processor with a 2.4GHz multiprotocol radio (supporting Bluetooth 5, ANT™, and proprietary 2.4GHz RF protocol software) featuring -96-dB RX sensitivity. The nRF52832 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 initially chose Nordic’s nRF52832 SoC for its power to performance ratio, but quickly realised that the extensive firmware resources provided by Nordic are what set them apart from the competition,” says Björn Ögren, Founder and CEO of Turnpike Group. 

“This was our first project with Nordic and we definitely see a strong partnership going forward. Both the community and direct support channels have been excellent, and we feel that the large user base on the nRF Series devices today really helps products like ours get off the ground.”