Nordic-powered Bluetooth LE smart vehicle system enables users to install and control auxiliary lighting


Innoware’s XBB Dongle and XBB Power Unit employ nRF52832 SoC to enable custom lighting options for vehicles using Bluetooth LE connectivity and without altering existing electrical system

Swedish company Innoware Development has launched a vehicle smart lighting system, designed to enable the simple installation of aftermarket auxiliary lights. Consisting of an ‘XBB Dongle’ and ‘XBB PowerUnit’, the solution can be fitted without any modifications to the vehicle’s original electrical setup by using Bluetooth® LE wireless connectivity provided by Nordic Semiconductor’s nRF52832 SoC.

Once the user has installed aftermarket lights to their vehicle, they are connected to the XBB PowerUnit which is in turn connected to the car’s battery. Meanwhile, the XBB Dongle is plugged into the vehicle’s OBD2 port. Both devices integrate the ISP1507-AX module from Insight SiP, which is based on Nordic’s nRF52832 SoC. The module provides Bluetooth LE connectivity between the XBB PowerUnit and the XBB Dongle, as well as between the dongle and the ‘XBB Configurator’ app on the user’s smartphone.

Personalized configuration

From the app the user can download vehicle specific settings or ‘recipes’ and configure preferred signals for controlling the lights through the vehicle’s existing controls. The app includes a dashboard to toggle the lights on and off, and provides statistics such as restarts and ignition time. Users can also update the system firmware via the app. 

Power consumption was a crucial factor in our decision to use the nRF52832 SoC and its energy efficiency significantly influenced our design
Karl-Henrik Söderqvist, Innoware Development

“This solution is designed for vehicle workshops or individuals who want an easy and efficient way to install auxiliary lights on their vehicle while minimizing cable routing,” explains Karl-Henrik Söderqvist, CEO at Innoware Development. “It’s currently being used across Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, and Germany.

“Through the app, users can customize the installed system to their liking, without the need to cut any cables or penetrate the firewall between the engine bay and the cabin. This approach makes the installation safer, as it avoids tampering with the vehicle’s existing electrical system.”

Extended battery life

While the solution is powered by the vehicle’s battery, the ultra low power characteristics of the nRF52832 SoC ensure it does not drain large amounts of power when the vehicle is turned off. The XBB Dongle and XBB PowerUnit draw approximately 7.5 mA when the vehicle is turned off, below the 10 mA maximum parasitic current draw typically specified by vehicle manufacturers. The nRF52832 SoC has been engineered to minimize power consumption with features such as the 2.4 GHz radio’s 5.5 mA peak RX/TX currents and a fully-automatic power management system.

“Power consumption was a crucial factor in our decision to use the nRF52832 SoC and its energy efficiency significantly influenced our design,” says Söderqvist. “The SoC’s compatibility with the Zephyr RTOS, and the comprehensive documentation and technical assistance offered by Nordic were also major advantages during development.”