Weekly Bluetooth Industry Report [April 17, 2020]

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How Apple and Google’s Bluetooth Contact Tracing Framework Actually Works
The COVID-19 pandemic affects us all, with public life seeing disruptions at an unprecedented scale. To help curb the spread of the disease, Apple and Google have announced a joint effort to develop a contact tracing framework with a heavy focus on privacy and security. This post is the Punch Through team’s take on what this contact tracing framework is about, how it works based on what we know so far, and what this means for our future — as platform users and also as developers.

Bluetooth LE module for easy IoT development
Dialog Semiconductor’s DA14531 SmartBond TINY module was specifically optimized to significantly reduce the cost of adding Bluetooth low energy functionality to an IoT system. Its easy-to-use design and software allow developers to quickly and intuitively develop highly functional connected devices, targeting the next generation of connected consumer, connected medical, smart home and smart appliance applications.

Laird Connectivity Enables New IoT Use Cases with Low-Power Cellular + Bluetooth 5 Micro-Gateway
Global technology leader Laird Connectivity has announced the upcoming Sentrius™ MG100 Micro-Gateway which simplifies bridging Bluetooth sensor data to the cloud. Powered by the Pinnacle™ 100 cellular modem, the MG100 Micro-Gateway combines long-range Bluetooth 5 (Nordic nRF52840 silicon) and LTE-M/NB-IoT (Sierra HL7800/Altair ALT1250) in a small form factor IoT micro-gateway.

Bluetooth 5.2/Bluetooth LE wireless sensor provides predictive maintenance data and alerts for industrial equipment
Nordic Semiconductor today announces that Lynxemi, a Singapore-based Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) solutions company, has selected Nordic’s nRF52840 Bluetooth® 5/Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) advanced multiprotocol System-on-Chip (SoC) to provide the wireless connectivity for its ‘Vibration and Temperature Sensor’. The platform is designed to provide reliable sensor data for predictive maintenance applications of industrial equipment, for example electrical motors, transformers, pumps, and fans in factory and commercial building environments.

Smart hand-washing monitor could help boost confidence in schools, care homes, and offices when they return after Covid-19
Nordic Semiconductor today announces that U.S. startup, WashSense, has developed a retrofittable Bluetooth mesh smart hand-washing monitor of the same name that can both monitor and educate users how to wash their hands correctly. The entire application runs off a single Nordic Semiconductor nRF52832 System-on-Chip (SoC).

The Spanish engineer who leads the European ‘app’ for tracking infections: “It will not be a state of vigilance” | Technology
Carmela Troncoso is a telecommunications engineer specialized in privacy at the Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne (Switzerland). He leads a team of more than 20 people from eight European institutions that works to create a app that tracks our contacts and at the same time respects our privacy. The goal is to have a technological tool in early May that allows citizens to know if they have been close to someone who days later tests positive for Covid-19.

COVID-19 Contact Tracing: Apple & Google Reveal New Intriguing Details
Contact-tracing is the heart of a new app being developed for iPhones and Android handsets, through a ground-breaking collaboration between Apple and Google. In conversation with both Apple and Google earlier today, I have been told more details of how things are going to work, logistically and technologically, to help in the fight against COVID-19. The API that is being developed aims to overcome one of the main issues with contact-tracing technology: the lack of interoperability.

STMicroelectronics Releases Vibration-Sensing System
STMicroelectronics, a global semiconductor company, has announced that it is providing Industry 4.0 applications with a new vibration-sensing solution intended to enable smart maintenance of factory equipment. ST’s IIS3DWB vibration sensor and supporting STEVAL-STWINKT1 multi-sensor evaluation kit are built to accelerate the development of condition-monitoring systems that boost productivity by inferring equipment maintenance needs, the company reports.

Coronavirus: NHS contact tracing app to target 80% of smartphone users
A contact-tracing app could help stop the coronavirus pandemic, but 80% of current smartphone owners would need to use it, say experts advising the NHS. The University of Oxford’s Big Data Institute has modelled a city of one million people to simulate the software’s impact. If there is lower uptake, academics say the app would still help slow the spread of Covid-19. They add that letting people self-diagnose the illness could be critical.

Coronavirus tracking app to be rolled out in Australia only with privacy safeguards – minister
The federal government has promised a systematic assessment of the privacy impacts of a controversial app identifying contacts with victims of the coronavirus, which could delay the prime minister’s preferred two-week deadline for its rollout in Australia. The government believes the app could be useful in tracing the source of a Covid-19 infection by tracking the contacts of its victims. The app uses Bluetooth smart phone connections to record who has been near a person for 15 minutes or more, the period defined as a contact.

Linux-driven Bluetooth gateway has WiFi, dual LAN, and optional LTE
Laird’s “Sentrius IG60-BL654 Wireless IoT Gateway” for Bluetooth sensor applications runs Laird Linux or AWS IoT Greengrass on Laird’s SAMA5D36-based “60 Series SOM” and provides 802.11ac, BT 5.0, 2x LAN, and optional LTE Cat 1. We last reported on Laird Connectivity in regard to its Open Platform automotive telematics and connectivity computer back in 2017, but we often see the company mentioned as the source of wireless modules available on various Linux-based systems. A few weeks ago, Laird announced a Bluetooth-oriented Sentrius IG60-BL654 Wireless IoT Gateway, a variant of an earlier IG60-Serial gateway that we’ll summarize below.

MIT building system that could let people with cell phones find out if they’ve been near any people with coronavirus
A team of MIT researchers is working on a system through which people’s phones would send out a constant stream of Bluetooth “chirps” that would then be picked up and stored by other people’s phones. Somebody who tests positive for coronavirus could then upload his or her chirps to a database that others could then check to see if they were close enough to that person to warrant their own trip to testing site or to self quarantine. Bluetooth is designed for only short distances, such as, oh, six feet.

Salto Systems Provide Game-Changing Access Control Technology For Lockers And Cabinets With The New SALTO XS4 Locker BLE
The capability of effectively extending real time, online and cellphone enabled smart electronic access control to lockers and cabinets has eluded the security market – until now. By incorporating BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) technology into their latest electronic locker lock, SALTO has delivered a product that extends up-to-date comprehensive electronic access control to lockers, cabinets, and essentially anywhere.

Contact Tracing: The Most Amazing And Scariest Technology of The 21st Century
A while back I posted an article about the usage of Bluetooth beacons, and how LinkedIn could find out who you had been in contact with. In fact, at a recently conference, I demonstrated it live and where I showed these beacons being sent out, and how these could be used to find out our contact. I often joked at conference that “you’ll see my contact on LinkedIn tomorrow, as they know we’ve been in contact”, and often I received emails back saying that it was true.

Developing an app to help COVID-19 contagion control
The app anonymously monitors the devices that get near you. If you have been close to an infected person you will be notified and get clear instructions on the next steps to follow. How it works: Every mobile device has a unique and anonymous numeric ID, that can be read at distance using the Bluetooth LE technology.

CEVA Wins 2019 CEM Editor’s Choice Award for its Bluetooth 5 IP
CEVA, Inc., the leading licensor of wireless connectivity and smart sensing technologies, today announced that it has been declared a winner in the China Electronic Market (CEM) 2019 Editor’s Choice Awards. The award recognizes the RivieraWaves Bluetooth 5 IP as “The most competitive IoT solution in China”.

Tracking By Any Name Is Still A Privacy Concern
The fact that the rate of new infections seems to be slowing down in some areas suggest that social distancing and shutting down non-essential businesses may be having an effect. In order to contain—or at least, slow down—the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic, governments are keenly interested in contact-tracing, or keeping track of all the people who have come into contact with individuals who have been infected with COVID-19. To address that gap, Google and Apple are teaming up on a contact-tracing framework, but questions persist about the privacy implications.

IMotion unveils solutions for analyzing coronavirus contact history
Taiwan-based smart handheld device developer IMotion Group, founded by Asustek Computer ex-CEO Jerry Shen, has partnered with THLight, a Taiwanese indoor space positioning technology expert, to jointly develop a solution that lets companies analyze the contact histories of their employees, helping prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Combining low-power Bluetooth beacons with two-way communication support, specially designed sensors and backend analysis technologies, enterprises are able to monitor each employee’s contact history.

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