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Nordic-powered Bluetooth Smart development board -solution for wearable and IoT prototypes
Developed by Finnish design house iProtoXi, the Aistin Blue BTL3X2 development board comes in a small form factor complete with nRF51822 Bluetooth Smart solution, accelerometers, and gyroscope
Nordic Semiconductor today announces that Oulu, Finland-based Internet of Things (IoT) and wearables design company, iProtoXi, has selected Nordic’s nRF51822 Bluetooth® Smart System-on-Chip (SoC) for its Aistin Blue BTL3X2 development board.
The Aistin Blue development board provides a complete hardware solution for designers of wearable prototypes such as activity wristbands. It is also suitable for other wireless applications such as Internet of Things (IoT) sensors. The development board comes in a 32 by 4.2mm form factor and is designed for low power consumption, battery-operated applications.
Aistin Blue is based on the Nordic’s nRF51822 System-on-Chip (SoC) Bluetooth Smart solution which is compliant with the latest (v4.2) version of the specification. The nRF51822 SoC is a powerful and flexible multiprotocol single-chip solution built around a 32-bit ARM® Cortex®- M0 CPU with 256kB/128kB flash and 32kB/16kB RAM. In the development board configuration, the nRF51822 SoC uses an integrated crystal antenna to minimize the number of external components and reduce space. The nRF51822 supports over-the-air application software and Bluetooth Smart firmware upgrades.
The development board integrates a range of sensors including a three-axis accelerometer with a large capacity buffer, allowing the nRF51822 to ‘sleep’ while data is stored (reducing power consumption), a six-axis accelerometer-magnetometer which can measure audio frequencies, and a six-axis accelerometer-gyroscope combination with a peak power consumption of just 2mA. Temperature, humidity and air pressure sensors are also included on the board.
Aistin Blue is also equipped with two host connectors based on the Aistin Bus24 open standard, a micro USB connector, a battery connector with power and charge control, a ‘smart’ switch, as well as programmable red, green, and blue LEDs. A 2Mb EEPROM memory is also provided for sensor data storage. Covers are available for the battery and complete product.
The board comes with application firmware that makes it possible to use the product as a wearable data logger ‘out-of-the-box’ with data stored in internal memory when a Bluetooth Smart connection is unavailable. Sensor values are displayed graphically using an Android application. Customized sensor logic can be coded by designers using Nordic’s development tools.
“Aistin Blue’s compact modular design makes it possible to develop wearable prototypes without the need to do any custom hardware design. This makes significant time and money savings for the customer,” says Janne Kallio, CEO of iProtoXi. “And thanks to the AistinBus24 connectors and interface it’s simple to add different extension modules while still keeping the hardware profile small enough for wearable applications.
“As a design house we have used Nordic’s nRF51822 in two earlier customer projects and found the SoC great for our purposes,” continues Kallio. “We made comparisons between three vendor solutions and found Flash and RAM sizes, the software environment, and chip interfaces made Nordic’s solution the best for us.”
Also engineers do recycling
25.6.2015 (translation by Anna-Sofia Puro, iProtoXi Ltd.)
17.6.2015 (original article and pictures by Raija Kurki, Mediaoulu)
The new invention in it's recycled protective case.
Janne Kallio, the CEO of iProtoXi, clicks two plastic bottle caps together and the perfect protective case seals up the new sensor invention. After adding the company's logo, the product is ready to be taken to the public.
iProtoXi, an electronic company from Oulu was established three years ago. They produce sensor software, electronics as well as phone applications and web software which are both linked with the aforementioned.
- The modular sensor electronics we've developed have already been utilized on customer projects, says Kallio.
It is now time to convert the solution into the company's own product. Sensors are attached on objects or targets, whose activity you want to monitor. Sensors developed by iProtoXi can measure, for example, movement, atmospheric pressure, humidity, temperature, ultraviolet radiation, luminous intensity or even colour of the light.
- Proximity sensor senses movement up to 30 centimeters, so it is possible to switch the device on and off by waving a hand near it. When you attach the sensor on a bicycle, it could be observed over the internet. The sensor then tells you if the bike is moving or not.
- When a robot lawnmower stucks at the bottom of a trench, the sensor informs that the movement has stopped.
Besides the home environment, it is possible to integrate the sensor solution into industrial and facility automation systems.
Taking ecology into account is considered important in the company, Kallio says.
With a cell phone and a bluetooth connection, the collected data could be accessed at a radius of ten meters from the sensor. In addition, it is also possible to browse data over the internet, when small gateway unit is attached on the computer.
The wireless sensor unit seems to fit even into a wristwatch, but there still is space for an add-on sensor chip. The rectangular unit can support even three add-on chips.
- There has been button sensors before iProtoXi's Aistin products, but the add-on support is a new invention. Our product also benefits from the lightness of the sensor board and from it's slim structure. We offer only our own product range, but our customers are also able to connect other manufacturer's sensors into our sensor units, tells iProtoXi's software designer Jarmo Nikula.
iProtoXi uses open interfaces that allow easy connectivity with the customer's own solutions. In Kallio's opinion, this is what separates iProtoXi from it's competitors.
- It is hard to use a device that uses closed interface elsewhere than in the manufacturers own strictly specified user environment, or when the solution is only compatible within the same brand's devices and software.
Also, ecology means something more for the iProtoXi than just recycling bottle caps. - We aim to assemble the products in Finland, or at least in Northern Europe. In this way we can achieve better quality compared to countries which provide cheap production. iProtoXi has a strong partnership network in Oulu. There are many subcontractor companies capable of offering assembly services. - When partners are near, it becomes possible to assemble the product on the spot.
At the time iProtoXi is raising crowdfunding on Indiegogo for their new sensor invention. Indiegogo is an international service that offers an opportunity to get a foreign funding for productising inventions. iProtoXi's funding campaign is open until the second week of July. Check out iProtoXi on Indiegogo.
Julkistimme pienille internet-laitteille suunnatun standardin
Olemme julkistaneet uuden standardin Aistin Bus24 IoT-laitteiden rakentamiseen.
Aistin Bus24 -nimen saanut väylästandardi perustuu erittäin pieneen piirilevyliittimeen, johon on sisällytetty tunnetuimmat elektroniikassa käytetyt liitäntästandardit, kuten I2C, SPI ja UART. Lisäksi väylä sisältää lukuisia kontrollisignaaleja, jotka mahdollistavat paristokäyttöisen laitteen virrankulutuksen älykkään hallinnan. Tyypillisiä kytkettäviä laitteita ovat erilaiset sensorit, kuten valaistus, lämpötila ja ilman kosteus, mutta standardi soveltuu myös radiomoduulien ja toimilaitteiden kytkemiseen. Vakioidusta liittimestä on suurta hyötyä erityisesti tuotekehityksessä ja pienissä tuotesarjoissa, kun halutaan päästä nopeasti kuluttajatason tuotteeseen. Näin nopeutetaan usein epäkäytännöllistä ja hidasta pöytäprototyyppikehitystä.
”Tähän asti internetiin kytkettävät sensorit ja muut älylaitteet ovat olleet valmistajakohtaisia suljettuja kokonaisuuksia. Avoin kytkentästandardi mahdollistaa laitteiden modularisoinnin niin, että varsinainen internet-yhteys ja muu toiminnallisuus voidaan erottaa toisistaan ja avata kilpailulle. Kuluttajalle tämä tarkoittaa entistä monipuolisempaa laitevalikoimaa ja halvempia hintoja. Vakioitu rajapinta mahdollistaa myös järjestelmän laajennettavuuden ja päivittämisen ilman, että koko järjestelmä pitää uusia. Vaikka tarjoammekin oman liittimeen perustuvan tuotevalikoiman, toivomme, että standardi tulisi mahdollisimman laajaan käyttöön”, kertoo yrityksen toimitusjohtaja Janne Kallio.
Avoin Aistin Bus24 -kytkentästandardi on vapaasti saatavilla osoitteesta https://iprotoxi.fi/index.php/aistin-bus24