Australian design firm Genesys Electronics Design has launched a modularized sensor platform for developers of wireless wearable solutions. The ‘GP5000 Wireless Wearable Sensor’ (WWS) integrates Nordic Semiconductor’s nRF52840 multiprotocol Bluetooth® LE SoC to provide the wireless connectivity, alongside an extensive suite of sensors designed to enable a range of both medical and non-medical wearable applications.
The GP5000 WWS is comprised of two core components, a baseboard integrating the Nordic SoC, and a customizable plug-in sensor board. The baseboard includes a 6-axis inertial measurement unit (IMU), a magnetometer, a temperature and humidity sensor, an ambient light sensor, and a pressure sensor. The sensor board can also be supplied with a wide range of optional sensors to record air quality, force, proximity, heart rate, SPO2 and sound, for example. The on-board sensors are supervised by the nRF52840 SoC’s powerful 64 MHz, Arm® Cortex® M4 processor with floating point unit (FPU), which is capable of the processor-intensive computations required by advanced wearable designs.
“The platform is designed to enable developers to rapidly iterate battery-powered wireless wearable devices and accelerate the pathway to regulatory compliance,” says George Bou-Rizk, Co-CEO and Software Engineering Manager at Genesys Electronics Design. “All the firmware for the baseboard has been designed under medical device design controls, including adherence to the medical software standard IEC 62304. This provides a very high level of reliability for non-medical products and both simplifies and accelerates the process of achieving regulatory compliance for medical products.”
The miniaturized sensor platform is supplied in a 30 by 14 mm form factor as standard and weighs between 15 and 20 g (depending on enclosure and sensor options), but can also be supplied in a version as small as 16 by 5.2 mm for particularly space-constrained applications. The platform also provides flexible power options, and can be powered by either a replaceable or rechargeable coin cell battery. To achieve efficient power management and charging of the rechargeable coin cell, the platform also integrates Nordic’s nPM1300 power management IC (PMIC). The nPM1300 PMIC simplifies system design by including essential functions required for embedded Bluetooth LE designs into one small package, enabling longer run times and efficient battery charging with fewer components.
The platform is also supplied with the ‘Genesys Companion Mobile App’ that provides a fully integrated, out-of-the-box interface to the platform. This provides core facilities including navigation menu, help menu, user profiles for different classes of users, account management and user authentication. It also includes a selection of graphical display widgets such as charts and tables that enable sensor data to be easily displayed, and a dashboard to be easily configured.
“From a hardware point of view we selected the nRF52840 SoC because of its ability to incorporate a wide range of functionalities within a small footprint, making it highly suitable for wearable devices,” says Bou-Rizk. “In addition, Nordic’s support services make its devices easy to use via comprehensive documentation, good community activity and support, as well as reliable libraries.”