Nordic Semiconductor today announces that Fruitech, a Tianjin, China-based technology company, has selected Nordic’s nRF52832 Bluetooth® Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) System-on-Chip (SoC) to provide the wireless connectivity for its HiPee Smart Pillbox, a connected medicine dispenser/organizer and smartphone app platform.
The FDA-approved lightweight and compact HiPee Smart Pillbox syncs via the Nordic SoC-enabled Bluetooth LE connectivity to the iOS- and Android-compatible partner app (developed on the WeChat Mini Program platform) on a Bluetooth 4.0 (or later) smartphone. Once its settings are configured from the app, the HiPee Smart Pillbox automatically emits light and sound alerts reminding the user to take the correct medicine in the box at pre-scheduled times. When the box cover is opened, a green LED corresponding to each of the four medicine slots indicates which specific pill should be taken, while a red LED warns the user if the medicine box has been opened at the wrong time. The pillbox can also automatically generate records of use and wirelessly make the data available in the app to help the user develop good medication habits.
In addition, by simply scanning the barcodes on medication packages using the WeChat mini-program linked to the HiPee Smart Pillbox, users can easily add/update medication schedules and information about the types of medicines, the dosage, and the frequency of medication required. This information is then displayed on the pillbox at the time of use.
The HiPee Smart Pillbox is powered by coin cell batteries providing a battery replacement cycle of approximately three months, 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. Nordic’s software architecture includes a clear separation between the RF protocol software and Fruitech’s application code, simplifying development and ensuring the SoftDevice doesn’t get corrupted when developing, compiling, testing, and verifying the application code. The S132 SoftDevice features Central, Peripheral, Broadcaster and Observer Bluetooth LE roles, supports up to twenty connections, and enables concurrent role operation.
“Nordic’s nRF52832 SoC provides the large memory capacity and low power consumption we want in a compact form factor for the HiPee Smart Pillbox,” says He Xin, Co-founder of Fruitech. “The SoC also comes with several key software features including clear separation in the software architecture, Nordic’s SoftDevice, OTA-DFU [over-the-air device firmware update] functionality, and Nordic’s comprehensive software development kit [SDK] which greatly sped up the development process.
“The technical information and reference designs provided by Nordic are more comprehensive than those from other Bluetooth LE technology companies.”