Gaming wearable uses Bluetooth Low Energy to enhance in-game experience based on user’s biometric responses

Courtesy of Nordic Semiconductor

The ‘Ankkoro’ smartband employs Nordic’s nRF52832 SoC to provide wireless connectivity between the wristband and the device on which the game is being played

Nordic Semiconductor today announces that Marseille, France-based Ironova®, has selected Nordic’s award-winning nRF52832 Bluetooth® Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) System-on-Chip (SoC) to provide the Bluetooth LE wireless connectivity for its ‘Ankkoro®’ gaming smartband.

The Ankkoro smartband incorporates a range of biometric sensors including a Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) sensor to measure perspiration, a heart rate monitor, a skin temperature sensor, as well as an accelerometer and a haptic vibration motor. The sensors monitor an individual’s biometric responses to a game, allowing game developers to use the information to modify the gaming experience according to the player’s emotional state. For example, if the player’s heart rate is elevated and they are perspiring, their in-game field of vision could be reduced or become clouded, representing anxiety or panic. Conversely, if the player is calm and has a normal resting heart rate, their in-game gestures could be made more precise.

The captured biometric data is processed by the company’s proprietary ‘EmotionSense™’ algorithms and communicated to the user’s iOS or Android Bluetooth 4.0 (and later) smartphone or tablet by the nRF52832 SoC’s Bluetooth LE wireless technology. The smartband is also compatible with Bluetooth 4.0 (and later)-enabled PCs and MacOS platforms.

The Ankkoro smartband is powered by a rechargeable Li-Poly battery, providing up to one week’s battery life between recharge, thanks in part to the ultra low power consumption of the Nordic SoC. The nRF52832 SoC has been engineered to minimize power consumption with features such as the 2.4GHz radio’s modest 5.5mA peak RX/TX currents and a fully-automatic power management system. The result is a Bluetooth LE solution which offers 90 CoreMark/mA, up to twice as power efficient as competing devices.

Nordic’s nRF52832 multiprotocol SoC 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 smartband’s application programming interface (API) is available to developers on a subscription basis, while Ironova also offers a free, open source software development kit (SDK) which helps developers incorporate Ironova’s technology into gameplay.

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