Courtesy of Nordic Semiconductor : Wirelessly connected interactive puzzle cube tracks and records user’s cube manipulations enabling online ‘battles’ and mini games
GiiKER’s ‘SUPERCUBE i3’ employs Nordic nRF51 Series SoC to deliver low latency Bluetooth Low Energy connectivity to smartphones and tablets
Unlike traditional puzzle cubes, the SUPERCUBE i3 provides a wide range of interactive gameplay, not only helping users learn how to solve the cube, but also enabling them to connect and compete with other players online. The cube employs customized rotation sensors on each of its central pieces to capture each layer movement, as well as a three-axis accelerometer in the core to track and record overall cube manipulation. The cube also integrates Nordic’s nRF51 Series SoC to provide low latency Bluetooth LE wireless connectivity to the user’s Bluetooth 4.0 (and later) smartphone or tablet.
During gameplay, data is wirelessly synced to the user’s smartphone or tablet, from where the iOS and Android ‘SUPERCUBE’ app enables the user to see a ‘live’ representation of their cube, review advanced statistics—including how long it has taken to solve—as well as play mini-games or an online ‘battle’ against other users. The app also features an interactive tutorial for beginners.
The SUPERCUBE i3 employs a 40mAh rechargeable lithium battery, providing up to 40 hours play time between recharge, thanks in part to the ultra low power characteristics of the Nordic SoC. The puzzle cube is recharged via a micro USB interface.
Nordic’s nRF51 Series is a family of flexible multiprotocol SoCs ideally suited for Bluetooth LE and 2.4GHz proprietary ultra low-power wireless applications. The nRF51 Series SoCs are built around a 32-bit ARM® Cortex™ M0 CPU, 2.4GHz multiprotocol radio, and 256kB/128kB Flash and 32kB/16kB RAM. The SoCs’ ample Flash memory allocation supports over-the-air device firmware updates (OTA-DFU), allowing manufacturers to upgrade software over the wireless link once the product is in the field. The SoCs are supplied with Nordic’s S130 SoftDevice, a Bluetooth 4.2 qualified concurrent multilink protocol stack solution supporting simultaneous Central/Peripheral/Broadcaster/Observer role connections.
“Price and availability were important factors in our decision to use the nRF51 Series SoC,” says Echo Mai, GiiKER Co-founder and CMO. “The powerful Arm CPU and the chip’s low power consumption were other factors influencing our decision.
“Nordic’s comprehensive SDK [Software Development Kit] examples, standardized application code, and easy-to-use technical documentation made it simple for our developers and helped accelerate the design process.”