Bluetooth LE smart dice power a virtual library of ‘phygital’ games

Particula’s GoDice

Particula’s GoDice employs Nordic’s nRF52805 SoC to connect smart dice to a tablet for hybrid physical/digital gameplay using Bluetooth LE

Israel-based Particula has launched a set of smart dice enabling interactive digital gameplay for a virtual library of classic and popular family games such as ‘Yatzy’, ‘Ludo’, and ‘Backgammon’, as well as a growing number of newer games focused on STEAM education.

Wireless connectivity to tablet

The ‘GoDice’ solution features an innovative design of six smart dice each integrating the Nordic nRF52805 SoC to wirelessly connect to a user’s tablet via Bluetooth® Low Energy (Bluetooth LE). In action, the results of a player’s dice roll are relayed to the tablet where the outcomes inform the next move of any game being played through the iOS/Android ‘GoDiceTM’ companion app. LED lights on each dice face will also illuminate to facilitate gameplay and in response to feedback from the app.

We selected Nordic’s nRF52805 for GoDice because the SoC offers reliability and low power consumption
Amit Dor, Particula

Each game available through the app features a different interactive game board that appears on the tablet screen when selected. The six-sided dice can also be used with a 20-sided shell to play an online version of the ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ (D&D) fantasy role-playing game. 

In addition to providing the wireless connectivity, the nRF52805 SoC’s powerful 64 MHz 32-bit Arm® Cortex®-M4 processor analyzes the sensor-based movement and positioning data of the dice to not only calculate the numbers rolled, but also determine whether the dice are moved, rolled, tilting, in free fall, or being ‘tapped’. 

Ultra low power consumption

GoDice employs supercapacitor technology for ultra-fast (as little as 10 seconds), battery-free charging to power the dice for around two hours of continuous gameplay, thanks in part to the ultra low power consumption characteristics of the Nordic SoC. The battery-powered charging station exists as part of the supplied dice sleeve, with the ‘5’ side of each dice attaching to a charging port. 

“We selected Nordic’s nRF52805 for GoDice because the SoC offers reliability and low power consumption,” says Amit Dor, CTO of Particula. “As a company, our experience working with Nordic on various projects has always been great, especially in terms of the support and communication provided.”