Wearable connected smart button employs Bluetooth Low Energy wireless connectivity to receive and display dynamic content with low latency

Courtesy of Nordic Semiconductor

Nordic’s Bluetooth LE nRF52832 SoC powers the ‘BEAM Smart Button’, allowing users to transmit images, slideshows, and GIFs to their wearable device

Nordic Semiconductor today announces that BEAM Authentic Inc., a San Francisco, U.S.-based smart technology company, has selected Nordic’s Bluetooth® Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) nRF52832 System-on-Chip (SoC) to provide the wireless connectivity for its BEAM Smart Button.

The BEAM Smart Button is part of a new communication platform targeted towards consumer-facing organizations including retail, hospitality, travel, trade show, professional sports teams, as well as major entertainment companies. Users can dynamically display personalized content on the BEAM Smart Button’s 24-bit true color AMOLED display in the form of single static images, slideshows, as well as animated GIFs. From the BEAM Authentic app on the user’s Bluetooth 4.0 (and later) smartphone or tablet, users can find, edit, or create content from a range of sources including their own image gallery, web pages, or other BEAM users. Thanks to the low latency Bluetooth LE wireless connectivity provided by the Nordic SoC, the selected image, animated GIF, or slideshow is instantly displayed on the Smart Button.

From the app the user can also control several power management features such as button screen brightness, auto-sleep, as well as the button’s ambient light sensor, by which the device will adjust brightness based on environmental light conditions. It also incorporates a ‘panic button’ feature allowing the user to notify family or friends of their exact location by holding the function button on the Smart Button for 10 seconds.

The nRF52832 SoC’s 512kB Flash memory provides each BEAM Smart Button with the capacity to store 100 ‘BEAMS’, while the ultra low power consumption supports battery life up to 24 hours per charge.

Nordic’s nRF52832 multiprotocol SoC 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, 512kB Flash memory, and 64kB RAM. The SoC is supplied with Nordic’s S132 SoftDevice for building advanced Bluetooth LE applications. The S132 SoftDevice supports Central, Peripheral, Broadcaster and Observer Bluetooth LE roles, supports up to twenty connections, and enables concurrent role operation.

“For the best user experience speed of transmission was key, and the datarate provided by the Nordic SoC was a big reason behind our decision to use it,” says Andrew Zenoff, CEO at BEAM Authentic. “Further, the Nordic SoftDevice delivered on the promise of accelerated development and testing.”

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