Bluetooth Smart and Wi-Fi-powered smoke and motion detectors provide networked protection from fire and theft for apartment complexes

sfty Sense employs Nordic nRF51822 SoCs to deliver communication across 2.4GHz low power mesh network and smartphone connectivity

Nordic Semiconductor today announces that Sfty, an Oslo, Norway-based company specializing in personal- and home-safety connected devices has selected Nordic’s multiple award-winning nRF51822 System-on-Chip (SoC) for its sfty Sense all-in-one home safety unit.

sfty Sense is a wireless, smartphone app-controlled combined smoke- and motion-detector designed specifically for use in multi-dwelling units (MDUs) and apartments to protect the owner against the threat of fire and theft, as well as provide temperature and relative humidity data.

From the sfty app, users can create a social network of ‘trustees’―friends, family and neighbors―who are notified via the app on their own mobile device in the event of a sfty Sense detector alarm being triggered. The user can also manage their safety devices from the app, using a Bluetooth® Smart Ready smartphone wireless connected to the nRF51822 SoC, to turn on and off the burglar alarm, activate a personal protection alarm, as well as notify trustees of movements or if they are in need of assistance.

A key advantage of the nRF51822 SoC is its multiprotocol capability that enables the SoC to simultaneously support both Bluetooth Smart and proprietary 2.4GHz and wireless connectivity. sfty Sense takes advantage of the SoC’s multiprotocol capability when communicating between devices distributed throughout an apartment complex. This inter-device communication between each sfty Sense unit is facilitated using a combination of Wi-Fi and a proprietary 2.4GHz low power mesh network.

The device employs a home Wi-Fi network via a standard router to communicate with the sfty Cloud for configuration, status reports, and signaling, while the low power mesh network is used for signaling between devices to trigger or cancel smoke or motion alarms in the individual home, or trigger building-wide smoke alarms.

The low power mesh network allows each detector to go into alarm mode even in the event that a device cannot connect to the Wi-Fi network, ensuring a fire detected in one unit will not go unnoticed in the rest of the complex. sfty Sense can also trigger other detectors to relay the message to the sfty Cloud using their Wi-Fi connection.

Employing four AA lithium batteries, sfty Sense complies with the latest European safety standards for smoke detectors providing at least 12 months of standard operation, and a further month of operation in low battery warning mode, between battery replacement, thanks in part to the ultra low power characteristics of the nRF51822 SoC.

Nordic’s nRF51822 is a powerful and flexible multiprotocol SoC ideally suited for Bluetooth Smart and 2.4GHz ultra low-power wireless applications. The nRF51822 is built around a 32-bit ARM® Cortex™ M0 CPU with 256kB/128kB flash and 32kB/16kB RAM. The embedded 2.4GHz transceiver is fully compliant with Bluetooth v4.2, the latest Bluetooth Smart specification. In the sfty Sense unit, the nRF51822 SoC provides inter-device communication as well as wireless connectivity to both iOS and Android-compatible Bluetooth Smart Ready devices.

The SoC also supports over-the-air software updates, providing sfty Sense with a cost effective and proven upgrade path to Bluetooth Smart Mesh when it becomes available.

“With the impending announcement of Bluetooth Smart Mesh, the Bluetooth capabilities of the Nordic chipset, and Nordic’s excellent track record in early support for new versions of the Bluetooth specification gives us an attractive path forward by employing the Nordic SoC’s over-the-air upgrade capability,” says Espen Schrøder, Chief Operating Officer of Sfty.

“With Bluetooth Smart Mesh, the support for Bluetooth in smartphones will allow direct low-power interaction between the user’s mobile and our devices when they are at home. This capability is something that none of the competing standards are in a position to provide for the foreseeable future,” concludes Schrøder.

“The smart or connected home is fast becoming a reality thanks in part to Bluetooth technology’s virtual blanket adoption in the mobile devices that consumers use to host apps and wirelessly communicate with their smart home products,” says Geir Langeland, Director of Marketing & Sales with Nordic Semiconductor. “But while Bluetooth Smart seems likely to form a foundation technology for the connected home, it’s clear that it will work alongside other wireless standards that have different strengths. sfty Sense admirably demonstrates how a combination of 2.4GHz-, Bluetooth Smart-, and Wi-Fi wireless technology combine to power an innovative connected home security solution.”

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