Weekly Bluetooth Industry Report [July 17, 2020]

Bluetooth Developer Academy

The one-stop resource for Bluetooth developers  
Community + Courses + Technical Support + Private Blog
Check out the full courses library

Multi-vendor Bluetooth Mesh SSL projects benefit warehouse and factory settings
Silvair Lighting Control has released the details of two Bluetooth Mesh-based LED retrofit projects that illustrate the energy savings potential of connected lighting and the ability to mix and match Bluetooth products from different vendors. PentaLux, McWong, Fulham, and Contemporary Energy Solutions also teamed on the projects at a Yamaha engine warehouse located in Pleasant Prairie, WI and at a Crystal bottled water plant in Mableton, GA.

LG Innotek develops the world’s smallest ‘Bluetooth low energy module’
LG Innotek (CEO Cheol-Dong Jeong) announced on July 14 that it has developed the world’s smallest Bluetooth module. With this development, LG Innotek is gearing up to advance further into the communication module market for Internet of Things (IoT). LG Innotek’s “Bluetooth low energy (BLE) module for IoT” is a key component that enables data communications for IoT devices such as glucose measuring patches, smart lighting, outlets, switches, wireless earphones, and hearing aids. Thanks to its low power consumption feature, the module is mainly used for IoT devices that require limited power supply, such as small wearable devices. 

Bluetooth LE knee brace provides wireless heating/cooling therapy for user recovery 
Nordic Semiconductor today announces that U.S.-based technology startup RecoverX has selected Nordic’s nRF52832 Bluetooth® Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) System-on-Chip (SoC) to provide the wireless connectivity for its ‘Contrast Knee’, a wireless knee brace that provides electric-powered alternating heating and cooling therapy. 

Do tracing apps matter in managing COVID-19?
Right now, many governments around the world are pushing what are merely ‘exposure notification’ apps for smartphone users rather than full-blown contact tracing apps. Proper contact tracing includes the ability to track down and pinpoint where exposure and transmission has actually occurred through interviewing those infected about their patterns, recent movement and visits.

Google’s Secretive ATAP Lab Is Imagining the Future of Smart Devices
In 2015, Dan Kaufman, the director of the information innovation office at the U.S. Department’s fabled DARPA lab, began talking to Google about joining the company in some capacity. Maybe he could work on Android. Or take a job at X, the Alphabet moonshot factory formerly known as Google X. And then another possibility came up: ATAP (Advanced Technology and Projects), a Google research skunkworks that was “just like DARPA, but in Silicon Valley,” as he describes it. His reaction: “That sounds awesome!”

Reference design addresses social distancing
Leveraging a Bluetooth Low Energy SoC, the BlueNRG-Tile reference design from STMicroelectronics serves as a foundation for location-monitoring and contact-tracing platforms. The design measures the signal strength of nearby Bluetooth non-connecting beacons and, in real time, calculates proximity to these sources. It can be provisioned to issue warnings when another beacon intrudes on an adjustable perimeter or when tampered with—even when not connected to a smartphone or 5G network.

Hardware Attack Exposes nRF52 Debugger
A recent hardware attack on the Nordic nRF52 chip uses local access to gain chip-level debugging capabilities that persist in silicon, unpatchable in software. Nordic has confirmed the issue and encouraged device manufacturers to detect openings of the enclosure, as the chip is not hardened against fault injection. The nRF52 chip is used across many devices to provide wireless communication capabilities including Bluetooth, 2.4Ghz Mesh, and Near Field Communication (NFC). Versions of this chip appear in common consumer hardware as well as industrial and hospital equipment.

MEMS Sensors: TDK SmartBug™, intelligent multi-sensor IoT module, now available worldwide
TDK Corporation announces worldwide availability of the InvenSense SmartBug, a compact, wireless multi-sensor solution designed for a plethora of commercial and consumer IoT applications. The out-of-the-box solution enables quick and easy access to reliable and smart sensor data without the need for programming, soldering or extra modifications. SmartBug is an all-in-one sensor module that integrates TDK’s 6-axis IMU (gyroscope + accelerometer) with magnetometer, pressure, temperature, humidity and ultrasonic sensors, and high-precision algorithms. The SmartBug module enables accurate and remote monitoring via both BLE and WiFi, and provides autonomous SD card data logging capability for IoT applications with large data volumes.

Hacking Bluetooth for COVID-19 contact tracing
Traditional manual contact tracing is not fast enough to keep pace with the rapid spread of COVID-19. Here, technology can shorten the delay between confirming an infected case and isolating all contacts. Among the countries that have managed to get the virus under control, South Korea and Germany are using digital tracing to contain and suppress the epidemic. While this offers hope, it is important to keep in mind that technology is only one tool, albeit an important one, and not a comprehensive end solution.

Atmosic Technologies Ultra-Low-Power Bluetooth® Connectivity Solution Extends Battery Life and Range for TraceSafe AllSafe Wristbands, Enabling Robust Contact Tracing
Atmosic™ Technologies, an innovator of ultra-low power wireless for the Internet of Things (IoT), and TraceSafe Inc., a provider of contact tracing solutions, announced that TraceSafe has selected Atmosic’s M2 solution for the AllSafe Wristband. The M2 system-on-chip (SoC) has extremely low power consumption to extend the battery life of AllSafe Wristbands, and also supports long-range connectivity to support implementations that connect to gateways.

Securing Enterprises From RF Exploitation
What do the Dallas tornado siren attack, hacked health performance monitors and compromised wearables have in common? Vulnerable wireless protocols. Corporate airspaces are under attack from an invisible threat: radio frequencies (RF). Because enterprises are crucially reliant on wireless protocols (Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, BLE, Zigbee, Z-Wave, etc.) for IT, building and employees, exploitation of wireless devices is growing increasingly common. These sophisticated attacks use compromised RF devices as their entry points into government and corporate networks. Foreign governments, competitors and cyber crooks are all conducting radio-based attacks on enterprises to access intellectual property and sensitive company information.

RFCat N32 Long Range nRF52832 Bluetooth Board Delivers 30x the Transmission Power with an Amplifier
Bluetooth 5.0 has two main new features: high speed (2Mbps) and long-range. But as we’ve seen in our nRF52840 vs nRF52832 vs nRF52810 comparison is that only nRF52840 supports Bluetooth 5.x long range. Bluetooth 5 long range is achieved with two new lower bit rates of 500 kbps and 125 kbps. So what do you do if you’d like a longer range and keep using the higher bit rates? You add a power amplifier and LNA to your board, and that’s exactly what Nikolaj (RFCat) did with RFCat N32 board based on Nordic Semi nRF52832 wireless SoC.

HID Global Launches Compact OMNIKEY® 5127CK Reader Core to Further Accelerate and Broaden the Partner Ecosystem
HID Global, a worldwide leader in trusted identity solutions, today announced the launch of its smallest embedded reader module, the OMNIKEY 5127CK Reader Core. The latest addition to the proven OMNIKEY family makes it possible for systems integrators, Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and other partners to embed RFID into devices with limited physical space to accurately authenticate people, reduce fraud and protect sensitive data in a contactless way.

‘World first’ smart headband stimulates user’s brainwaves to encourage appropriate ‘state of mind’ for specific activities
Nordic Semiconductor today announces that New York, NY-based MDCN Technologies has selected Nordic’s nRF52832 Bluetooth® Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) System-on-Chip (SoC) to provide the core processing power and wireless connectivity for its ‘NeoRhythm’ smart headband. The headband was developed by Slovenia-based electronics manufacturer, L-Tek, and the company claims it is the world’s first smart gesture-controlled headband, and the only device of its kind to employ an advanced multi-coil structure.

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