Bluetooth LE smart fob allows user to directly control various home automation devices with the click of a button

a cellphone on a table

Keyport’s OmniFob employs Nordic’s nRF52832 SoC to control smart home via Bluetooth LE connectivity without launching smartphone apps

Nordic Semiconductor today announces that Keyport, a Las Vegas, NV-based developer of universal access solutions, has selected Nordic’s nRF52832 Bluetooth® Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) System-on-Chip (SoC) to provide the wireless connectivity for its ‘OmniFob’ device.

Keyport claims OmniFob is the world’s first all-in-one remote smart fob integrating smart home, connected car, and personal security into a single device. Once configured, OmniFob can be used to control various devices with the click of a button and eliminate the need to access multiple smartphone apps for different connected functions such as opening/closing the garage, locking/unlocking the door, turning on/off the lights, starting the car, and more.

OmniFob employs Nordic’s nRF52832 SoC integrated into a Rigado BMD-350 module to provide the Bluetooth LE connectivity to wirelessly control compatible home automation platforms and end devices from the smart fob either directly, or via their associated apps on a paired Bluetooth 4.0 (and later) smartphone.

Through OmniFob’s quick control triggers and its compatibility with connected platforms such as the Samsung ‘SmartThings’ hub, the Yonomi app for smart home automation, the Nexx Garage smart garage, and the MoboKey aftermarket connected car system, the smart fob is able to simultaneously control many of the user’s favorite and most frequently used devices and functions. Users can also use OmniFob to find their smartphone through the device’s built-in Bluetooth LE locator powered by Chipolo.

Our application code was based on Nordic’s software development kit (SDK) examples, which significantly sped up development time - saving money and allowing the product to get to market quicker.
Eric Goodman of Breadware
Keyport has developed a customized rechargeable battery for OmniFob that the company expects to achieve up to two weeks of battery life before recharge depending on use profile, 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 an 64MHz, 32-bit Arm® Cortex® M4F processor with a 2.4GHz multiprotocol radio (supporting Bluetooth 5, ANT™, and proprietary 2.4GHz RF protocol software) featuring -96-dB 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.
“The nRF52832 SoC has an excellent low power idle mode, which contributed heavily towards its selection as the main microcontroller for OmniFob,” says Eric Goodman of Breadware, the company responsible for firmware development.
“Our application code was based on Nordic’s software development kit (SDK) examples, which significantly sped up development time - saving money and allowing the product to get to market quicker.”
“Size is definitely one of the main factors in our decision to use the Rigado BMD-350 module based on Nordic’s nRF52832 SoC, as it is one of the smallest FCC-approved Bluetooth LE modules on the market today,” says Sashi Ono of Pure Engineering, the company responsible for hardware development and system design. “Having a well-developed Bluetooth LE stack like Nordic’s SoftDevice is also critical.”