Nordic Semiconductor today announces that Seongnam, Korea-based technology start-up, Bagel Labs, has selected Nordic’s nRF52832 Bluetooth® Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) System-on-Chip (SoC) to provide the wireless connectivity for its ‘PIE’ smart tape measure.
The PIE smart tape measure is designed to provide consumers with a better indication of overall health than just monitoring body weight, while for business customers—for example clothing manufacturers—it offers a faster and more efficient means of measuring and recording body sizes.
The smart tape comes in an 80 by 65 by 24mm form factor and employs a flexible fiberglass tape that can measure both round objects as well as straight lines. The tape features a digital display for measurement readouts to an accuracy of ±0.5mm, up to range of 1500mm. The smart tape supports mm, cm, and inch units.
PIE employs an on-axis magnetic rotary position sensor to ensure readout accuracy, as well as Nordic’s nRF52832 SoC to provide wireless connectivity between the smart tape measure and the ‘PIE for Healthcare’ iOS and Android app running on the user’s Bluetooth 4.0 (and later) smartphone or tablet. The app is targeted towards consumers who want to set goals and track and record their various body measurements over time, prove graphs to illustrate size changes, as well as share their progress with family, friends, or even a coach or healthcare professional.
PIE uses a 400mAh Li-Po battery that provides up to 20 hours of constant use after a full charge, thanks in part to the ultra low power characteristics of the nRF52832 SoC. The nRF52832 SoC has 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.
Nordic’s nRF52832 SoC is a powerful multiprotocol SoC ideally suited for Bluetooth LE and 2.4GHz ultra low-power wireless applications. The nRF52832 combines an 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.
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 unique software architecture provides clear separation between the RF protocol software and the developer's application code, easing product development.
“The key factors behind our decision to use the nRF52832 SoC were the high degree of design flexibility it afforded us and the powerful Arm processor, Flash memory allocation, and of course its affordability,” says Myung-Jong Kim, Senior Manager, Bagel Labs.
“While battery life is perhaps not as important a factor as it is for a smartphone, power efficiency was crucial. It’s always better to have power efficient chips, and this is what we got with the Nordic SoC.”