Weekly Bluetooth Industry Report [June 26, 2020]

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nRF52805 Tiny Bluetooth 5.2 SoC is Optimized for Small Two-layer PCB Designs
Nordic Semi has just added a new member to its nRF52 Bluetooth 5 wireless SoC family with nRF52805 offered in a tiny WLCSP package measuring 2.48×2.46 mm and optimized for cost-effective 2-layer PCB designs. 

Apple adds CarKey function to iOS14, BMW will support it first
On Monday, Apple revealed a new feature in iOS 14 that will allow (some) users to ditch the keys to their car. It’s called CarKey, and it’s Apple’s implementation of the Car Connectivity Consortium’s Digital Key Release 2.0 standard, which was finalized in early May. The idea is pretty simple. You pair your phone with your car—assuming your vehicle supports this new standard—and from then on you can use the device to unlock and start your car.

Connect&GO launches Safeband physical distancing and contact tracing solution
Connect&GO is proud to announce the launch of Safeband. This new solution has been designed to help attractions reopen while sticking to physical distancing guidelines and also includes a contact tracing feature. Safebands are rechargeable and use a combination of BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy), Haptic Vibration, LED (light-emitting diode) and NFC (near-field communication) technologies.

Companies are enforcing their own contact tracing to track employees
In the coming months, tens of thousands of workers in Anglo American’s mines in South Africa will be asked to use a new piece of equipment: it could be phone, watch-based, or built into existing personal protective equipment like hard hats. The company says it’s “too early to be specific” about how its system will work, but one thing is for sure: it will track their every move, and will be able to detect when and who they have come in contact with.

BlueNRG-2 Development Kit from STMicroelectronics Unleashes Bluetooth® 5.0 Performance and Efficiency
The STMicroelectronics STEVAL-IDB008V1M Bluetooth® Low Energy 5.0 (BLE) evaluation platform accelerates application development with modules featuring BlueNRG-2, the Company’s second-generation BLE System-on-Chip (SoC). BlueNRG-2 supports the Bluetooth 5.0 certification, which allows enhanced security with LE Secure Connections, power-efficient privacy with Link Layer Privacy 1.2, and up to 2.6-times higher throughput with LE Data Length Extension. 

‘Yongin Severance Hospital aims to lead digital innovation in healthcare’
Yongin Severance Hospital, affiliated with Yonsei University College of Medicine, said it would provide a new paradigm of patient care with a next-generation patient safety system and better patient convenience in the digital era. 

HID Global Empowers Workplaces to Safely Re-Open by Automating Employee Social Distancing and Contact Tracing
As organizations around the world resume operations, new requirements for creating a safe workplace for employees are driving the need to automate approaches to manage employee social distancing and conduct contact tracing. HID Global, a worldwide leader in trusted identity solutions, today announced landmark additions to its HID Location Services IoT ecosystem that simplify and streamline managing these protocols, and drive compliance to federal, state and local requirements to help prevent workplace exposure to COVID-19.

A tiny spectroradiometer measures 340 nm to 1010 nm for agriculture
nanoLambda, a leading spectral sensor company, announced a new version of XL-500, with an extended range from 340 nm to 1010 nm, measuring UV, Visual and NIR ranges all at the same time. The tiny BLE spectroradiometer XL-500 measures and records light spectrum with absolute power values, not only SPD (W/m2/nm) but also PAR/PPFD (umol/m2/s/nm) and DLI for agriculture. Also 5 different Lux (lm/m2) values for human centric lighting and CCT (K), CRI, and CIE values for color are measured.

First of Its Kind Cellular Modem from Laird Connectivity Simplifies Bridging Cellular IoT to Bluetooth Sensors
Global technology leader Laird Connectivity has launched the Pinnacle™ 100 Series of cellular modems and development kits. The Pinnacle 100 combines Bluetooth 5 (Nordic nRF52840 silicon) and LTE-M/NB-IoT (Sierra HL7800/Altair ALT1250) in a small form factor modem. This unique wireless combination enables new use cases for long-range Bluetooth sensors to bridge sensor data to the cloud, all in a simple and easy-to-use architecture.

The Significance of Edge Computing for Building Commercial IoT Solutions
According to Gartner, by year-end 2023, more than 50% of big enterprises will deploy at least 6 edge computing use cases installed for IoT, versus less than 1% in 2019. In the past, many technical experts speculated that the Internet of Things (IoT) would be entirely driven on the cloud. Their hypothesis proved to be accurate for the consumer-connected IoT; however, to build and design enterprise-scale IoT solutions, one of the key basics is to achieve a balance between the use of cloud and edge computing.

Apple tags are rumored to track your stuff: Everything we think we know
Apple announcements at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday included the new iOS 14, iPad OS 14, MacOS Big Sur and new Arm-based Mac chips. Apple’s rumored tracker tag didn’t make an appearance at the conference. This means we might get a look at the Tile smart tracker competitor this fall. 

RSL10 Mesh Platform from ON Semiconductor Enables Smart Building and Industrial IoT Bluetooth® Low Energy Mesh Applications
ON Semiconductor (Nasdaq: ON), driving energy efficient innovations, has introduced a new Bluetooth® Low Energy mesh networking solution based on its ultra-low-power RSL10 System-in-Package (RSL10 SIP). Using the RSL10 Mesh Platform, engineers can easily implement ultra-low-power mesh networking, using Bluetooth Low Energy technology, and move quickly towards full deployment. 

Computer Science Students Develop Contact Tracing App
As the coronavirus pandemic became apparent last winter, a small team of undergraduate computer science students – two students at the University of Virginia, and one at the University of Notre Dame – began developing a Bluetooth-based COVID-19 contact tracing app. They called it TraceX.
Today, the app is ready and available – the goal being to help slow the spread of COVID-19 as college students prepare to return to campuses. 

HSE’s Covid-19 contact tracing app is ‘ready for launch’
Ireland’s Covid-19 tracker app is ready to launch, the Health Service Executive has said. The HSE said it will provide further details on plans to launch the app alongside a promotion campaign to “support its uptake and sustained use” later this week. A memo has been sent to Government on the state of preparedness of the technology which has been under development over the past couple of months.

BLE mesh networking SIP
ON Semiconductor has introduced a new BLE mesh networking solution based on its RSL10 SIP which consists of two RSL10 Mesh Nodes and a Strata Gateway for connectivity to the Strata Developer Studio. Complementing SIP is an array of sensing and indicator devices incorporated into the node hardware, including an ambient light sensor (LV0104CS), temperature sensor (N34TS108), magnetic sensors, LED indicators and a triple-output NCP5623B LED driver (for color mixing purposes).

Why a tough market again proves a breeding ground for innovation
Every global crisis brings this same conundrum: While times of upheaval cause severe economic pain, they also tend to be fertile breeding grounds for innovation. The Great Recession produced a wave of startups that are among today’s top digital brands, such as Airbnb, Dropbox, Square, and Uber. Apple reinvented itself with the launch of the iPod six weeks after 9/11. FedEx was founded during the 1973 oil crisis, Disney and HP during the Great Depression.

Continental smartphone-based car key to be introduced in 2021 models of three more car manufacturers
Continental has received new production orders for its CoSmA smartphone-based vehicle access system from three vehicle manufacturers from Europe and Asia. The smartphone-based car key will be integrated into the architecture of their upcoming vehicles. Continental will begin production in 2021.

How Does IoT Work?
This is how IoT (Internet of things) will work in the future. Though this was a joke, most devices in the future will be connected with each other and a hyper decision framework will define the further course of action. Before you understand how IoT works, it is important to understand what are the important pieces and how do they piece together the puzzle, let us, therefore, look at what are the different components involved here.

The Zephyr Project Marks Critical Milestones for Security and Product-Ready Maturity
The Zephyr™ Project, an open source project at the Linux Foundation that builds a safe, secure and flexible real-time operating system (RTOS) for the Internet of Things (IoT) in space-constrained devices, announces continued momentum by marking critical milestones for security and product-ready maturity.

Major Singapore Construction Firm ‘Boustead’ to Utilize Tracesafe Products
TraceSafe Inc. (“Tracesafe”) announced today that Boustead Projects E&C Pte Ltd (Singapore), one of the largest construction firms in Singapore, entered into an arrangement with a local Tracesafe nominee to provide contact tracing solutions to help meet the COVID-Safe Restart Criteria published by the Singapore Building and Construction Authority. This represents the first Enterprise Contact Tracing deployment of the product suite called “AllSafe”.

Apps Aren’t the Answer: Managing COVID-19 Will Require Human-Based Contact Tracing
Across the globe there’s a lot of faith – and development resources – put into using smartphone apps as the primary way to track and stem the spread of COVID-19 so economies can reopen. This seems misguided at best and disingenuous at worst, an exaggeration by those for whom every nail requires a technological hammer. Apps will play an important role in helping us manage the pandemic, but they can’t do what old-fashioned detective work can in the form of proper contact tracing.

Dev Kit Weekly: Silicon Labs Thunderboard BG22
Hold up. Wait a minute. Didn’t we just do this kit on Dev Kit Weekly a couple weeks back? No, actually. We looked at the Thunderboard Sense 2, which comes with a bunch of sensors and Bluetooth Low Energy support. This week’s kit, the Thunderboard BG22 doesn’t have quite as many sensors, but what it lacks there it makes up for by supporting the brand-spanking new Bluetooth 5.2 protocol.

Your iPhone can help with COVID-19 contact tracing – here’s how
Last month, both Apple and Google rolled out new COVID-19 contact tracing tools with the goal of helping curb the spread of COVID-19 and alert people who have been in contact with someone infected. The companies announced the joint effort on April 10 and Apple rolled out the plan with its iOS 13.5 which was released on May 20.

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