Nordic Semiconductor today announces that China-based smart technology company, Shanghai Beacool Technology, has selected Nordic’s award-winning nRF52832 Bluetooth® Low Energy System-on-Chip (SoC) for its Beacool CarFit Band, a multifunction device that not only reports health and wellness metrics, but also integrates electronic payment, as well the ability to remotely control certain car functions.
The Beacool CarFit Band is a wrist-worn wearable device offering both touch screen and gesture control. The wristband provides a range of health metrics including activity tracking, sleep data, weight, as well as heart rate, but also integrates electronic payment via major credit cards as well as Apple Pay. The user can also use the device as a prepaid public transport pass, and to action certain car controls via the touchscreen or gestures. For example, the user can remotely open and close car doors, raise and lower windows, open and close the trunk, operate the car’s air conditioning, and even start the engine. It is said to be the first wrist-worn device of its kind in China to integrate automotive remote control functionality.
The Beacool CarFit Band employs Nordic’s nRF52832 SoC to provide Bluetooth LE wireless connectivity between the device and Bluetooth 4.0 (and later) smartphones and tablets, as well as other wireless gateways, and to handle the processor-intensive algorithms required for the device’s multifunction capabilities. The wristband has a standby time of more than one month between recharges, thanks in part to the ultra low power characteristics of the Nordic SoC.
“We chose the nRF52832 SoC because of its powerful ARM Cortex M4F processor, low power consumption, and large RAM and Flash memory,” says Ray Hao, CEO of Shanghai Beacool Technology. “This allowed us to increase the number of features on the wristband, and to comfortably handle the complicated algorithms required for certain features such as dynamic heart rate monitoring, car remote control, and gesture recognition.”
From the company’s iOS- and Android-compatible ‘More Than’ app, the user can sync and review exercise, sleep, and heart rate data, activate and recharge a stored transport card, activate credit cards, set-up call, text, or message alerts from the wristband, as well as modify or personalize other user settings. (The app is only currently available in Chinese.)
Nordic’s nRF52832 Bluetooth LE SoC, a member of Nordic’s sixth generation of ultra low power (ULP) wireless connectivity solutions, combines a 64MHz, 32-bit ARM® Cortex® M4F processor with a 2.4GHz multiprotocol radio (supporting Bluetooth 5, ANT™, and proprietary 2.4GHz RF software) featuring -96dB RX sensitivity, with 512kB Flash memory and 64kB RAM. When launched, the SoC was the world’s highest performance single-chip Bluetooth LE solution, delivering up to 60 percent more generic processing power, offering 10 times the Floating Point performance and twice the DSP performance compared to competing solutions.
The nRF52832 SoC has also 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. The result is a Bluetooth LE solution which offers 58 CoreMark/mA, up to twice as power efficient as competing devices. The SoC is supplied with Nordic’s S132 SoftDevice, a Bluetooth 4.2 qualified RF software protocol stack for building advanced Bluetooth LE applications. The S132 SoftDevice Central, Peripheral, Broadcaster and Observer Bluetooth LE roles, supports up to twenty connections, and enables concurrent role operation.
“Nordic’s Software Development Kit is easy to use and helped us speed up and complete development of the CarFit Band quickly,” continues Hao. “We also received excellent technical support from Nordic.”