Nordic Semiconductor today announces that technology start-up, TappTek, has selected Nordic’s nRF52832 Bluetooth® Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) multiprotocol System-on-Chip (SoC) to provide the core processing and wireless connectivity for its ‘TappTek’ solution for the brewing and draft beverage industry.
TappTek is a smart tap device and subscription-based retail analytics platform that helps brewers, distributors, and retailers better understand consumer purchasing behaviors. Beverage manufacturers and venue managers can use the TappTek solution to measure relative market share, waste, and quality, as well as connect with consumers wherever a tap handle resides.
The TappTek device is designed to fit any draft beverage tap handle to monitor its activity and provide detailed information and insights such as a tap handle’s location in the lineup, start/stop times for pouring a beer, the volume dispensed, and on/off tap events including brand changes. In addition, TappTek can be used as a beacon to enable consumer engagement at the point of retail. The device works either by being inserted into a tap handle at the point of manufacture, or by being retrofitted to existing tap handles using TappTek's universal enclosure.
TappTek uses the nRF52832 SoC’s powerful 64MHz, 32-bit Arm® Cortex® M4 processor with floating point unit (FPU) for algorithm data processing and powering the device’s built-in accelerometer, which is employed to sense movement and begin pour monitoring. Using the Bluetooth LE wireless connectivity provided by the Nordic SoC, the sensor data collected by the smart tap device is sent directly to a user’s Bluetooth 4.0 (and later) smartphone, from where a sales representative or venue manager can view the event information through an associated iOS app. In turn, the data is relayed to the proprietary ‘Pour Data’ Cloud-based platform providing detailed analytics to TappTek subscribers in any location.
Powered by coin-cell batteries, TappTek provides between three and five years of battery life on an active tap handle, simplifying the user experience by removing the need for battery recharge or replacement. This battery life is achieved 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 5.4/5.3mA peak RX/TX currents and a fully-automatic power management system that reduces power consumption by up to 80 per cent compared with Nordic’s nRF51 Series SoCs.
Nordic’s nRF52832 multiprotocol SoC combines the Arm Cortex M4 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.
“Nordic’s Bluetooth LE chipsets provide best-in-class power and RF performance, the programming tools are widely used and straightforward, the SDKs are very helpful for engineering, and the technical support available is excellent,” says Jamie Robinson, Founder and CEO of TappTek.