Weekly Bluetooth Industry Report [April 3, 2020]

Bluetooth Developer Academy

The one-stop resource for Bluetooth developers  
April courses: Intro to Beacon Development, Visual BLE iOS App Development
Check out the full courses library

Bluetooth wristband could help make large-scale Covid-19 lockdowns unnecessary by targeting only those who may be infected
Nordic Semiconductor today announces that Spanish engineering company, Accent Systems, has developed a ‘Covid-19 BLE wristband’ that Accent claims could help contain and prevent the accelerated spread of Covid-19 through high accuracy contact tracing of any individuals who test positive for the disease. In doing so, Accent says many large-scale lockdowns could be avoided as only those individuals at risk of contracting the virus would be required to go into quarantine, rather than every single member of a given population, as is currently the case across the world.

Smart thermometers could help combat spread of Covid-19 in U.S. by identifying hotspots early
Nordic Semiconductor today announces that U.S. connected health specialist, Kinsa Health, is using data from millions of Nordic nRF52810-based Bluetooth smart thermometers in the U.S. to help combat the spread of the Covid-19 virus. Anonymized data from the Kinsa App has for several years enabled Kinsa Health to produce a temperature heat map of the U.S. (that Kinsa calls its US Health Weather Map) that could be used to identify potential Covid-19 hotspots much more quickly and help government agencies and healthcare organization in their on-going battle against the virus.

Frame.IoT: An interesting developer board with Arduino support and Wi-Fi
Currently seeking crowdfunding on Kickstarter, the Frame.IoT is an Arduino-compatible developer board that features integrated Wi-Fi. The ESP-32 also supports Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and can operate using a rechargeable battery. Combining the latter with Wi-Fi connectivity should allow the Frame.IoT to be deployed in a variety of ways.

If only you had been tracked
If all members of a local or national population had been given the Covid-19 BLE wristband developed by Accent Systems (or a similar wearable), the company claims, the moment an individual tested positive authorities would be able to rapidly trace every single person they had come into contact with and only they would need to be quarantined.

The Future of Battery-Free Bluetooth Devices
With the proliferation of the Internet of Things (IoT), a multitude of wirelessly connected devices have entered the market. While electrical power cords are no longer required, the use of batteries is still a continued challenge in the market today. It is predicted there will be more than 35 billion connected IoT devices worldwide by 2023. Just imagine changing that many batteries even for a fraction of those devices.

If Car Keys Are Apps, API Security Is Key
Now that apps on smartphones have become the mother of all digital commerce, companies are feverishly rolling out app-based products and services – digital car key apps and car-sharing services, for example — that promise consumers optimum convenience with minimum hassle. The only fly in the ointment is security.

Scientists Urge Use of A Mobile Bluetooth Coronavirus Contact Tracing App To Prevent Further Lockdowns
Scientists believe that a mobile coronavirus tracing app can help to significantly slow the rate of coronavirus transmission. A team of researchers from Oxford University has been studying whether mobile apps can help slow the spread of COVID-19 as they learn how the virus is being transmitted.

Bluetooth 5 beacons/sensor beacons promote IoT security
Fujitsu Component America, Inc. has added a series of Bluetooth 5 beacons and sensor beacons to offer OEMs greater functionality and flexibility for developing new, cost-effective and secure IoT solutions. Based on Fujitsu’s Bluetooth 5 FWM7BLZ20B module, the new beacons leverage the benefits of Bluetooth 5, including reduced power consumption, faster communication speed, greater LE advertising data communication capacity, and an increased number of channels, compared to their Bluetooth 4.1 predecessors. They also support remote settings using commands from a central unit.

The State of Indoor Positioning and Asset Tracking Using BLE and LoRa
The indoor positioning and asset tracking space remains the wild west despite many companies working towards developing a robust, cost-effective, scalable solution. BLE, WiFi, Ultra Wide Band, RFID, and Ultrasonic, to name a few, have been used in the past to develop Indoor Positioning and Asset Tracking solutions. With use cases spanning areas such as retail, hospital, and manufacturing, it is clear that the market potential is huge.

Bluetooth app to trace virus victims’ close contacts
A new smartphone app could help health authorities to trace people who had come into contact with those infected with coronavirus. It works by keeping a record of when a phone comes within close range of another, so that should an individual test positive for the virus, others at risk of infection can be quickly identified.

Estimote wearables track workers to curb COVID-19 outbreak
The folks at Estimote created a set of devices and software that’ll allow a business owner to keep track of their workers remotely. With a “contact tracing dashboard” and Bluetooth devices (worn by each employee), a business owner can keep track of the location and relative health of their workforce. Each wearable device scans for other wearable devices in the area and “registers close interactions.”

Qualcomm’s latest Bluetooth chips could bring ANC to lower-cost earbuds
Today, Qualcomm unveiled its next-generation of ultra-low-power Bluetooth Systems on a Chip (SoCs). The SoCs are designed for true wireless earbuds and hearables, and they could make top-end features, like active noise cancellation (ANC) and voice assistant support, more universal.

A Wireless and Wearable Polymer Temperature Sensor for Healthcare Monitoring
Temperature sensors are a useful piece of electronics for many reasons and are used throughout many manufacturing industries to monitor the temperature of many processes and environments. Temperature sensors have become an even more vital piece of kit this year for monitoring the temperature of the general public during the worldwide coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

BMW may be first automaker to get Apple CarKey feature
In February, 9to5Mac discovered code in a beta version of Apple’s iOS 13.4 software referring to an API for something called “CarKey.” After finding more extensive code for CarKey in the second beta version of the same iOS, 9to5Mac believes CarKey will be functionality allowing a car owner to lock, unlock, and start their car with their iPhone or Apple Watch. The vehicle would need to be equipped with Near-Field Communications (NFC), the same protocol Hyundai uses for its Digital Key and Tesla uses for its Model 3 keycards.

Cypress Semiconductor Prototyping Board | New Product Brief
Cypress Semiconductor’s PSoC 6 BLE Prototyping Board is a low-cost hardware platform for developing high-performance IoT devices and other wireless applications with the Cypress PSoC 6 MCU family. The board is based on a PSoC 63 BLE Module, which adds Bluetooth connectivity to the highly flexible PSoC MCU featuring programmable analog and digital blocks, flexible automatic routing, and many other peripherals.

Bluetooth LE sensor-based ski training solution helps skiers improve technique with live audio feedback during run
Nordic Semiconductor today announces that MotionMetrics, a London, UK-based consumer electronics startup, has selected Nordic’s nRF52832 Bluetooth® Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) System-on-Chip (SoC) to provide the processing power and wireless connectivity for its ‘Carv’ digital ski instructing wearable. The wearable is designed for training, competing, and challenging friends on the ski fields.

Eight Tech Experts Share Their Favorite IoT Technologies
The Internet of Things continues to grow, bringing convenience and high function to businesses and homes alike. From enhancing accessibility to monitoring health and personalizing customer experiences, IoT technology can offer time and convenience benefits in multiple aspects of everyday life and industry.

Enjoy reading this report?
You can sign up below to get delivered to your inbox when it gets published
Sign up to receive the weekly Bluetooth Industry Report