Weekly Bluetooth Industry Report [August 21, 2020]

Bluetooth SIG wants to turn wearables into COVID-19 exposure detectors
The group behind the Bluetooth standard wants to add COVID-19 exposure detection to wearable devices. In an announcement today, the Bluetooth SIG (Special Interest Group) said that it is working with over 130 member companies to add the potentially lifesaving feature to wearables. Google and Apple have already developed a cross-platform, Bluetooth-based COVID-19 detection system for smartphones. The proposal by the Bluetooth SIG would extend that system to wearables (say for people who workout with just their Apple Watch or similar device.)

Apps built with Apple-Google Exposure Notification API adopted by three US states
Three U.S. states — North Dakota, Wyoming and Alabama — this week rolled out or announced the imminent rollout of coronavirus contact tracing apps built using Apple and Google’s Exposure Notification API. North Dakota became the second state to adopt the Apple-Google API when its Care19 Alert app went live on Thursday. The app, developed by ProudCrowd, is the first to enable communication with contact tracing apps maintained by other states.

GM Shares Dystopian Safety Tech, Ford Says Remote Work May Continue Into 2021
General Motors said it plans to share some of the safety technology it developed as a countermeasure to the coronavirus pandemic this week. These include a thermal scanning kiosk that uses infrared imaging to take temperatures of people as they stream into facilities, as well as a touchless printer app designed to keep staff from repeatedly touching the control panel. However, it’s the third item, GM’s contact-tracing software, that’s the most novel and controversial.

New Ledvance Portfolio Embraces Smart Lighting
With Professional Smart for Residential and the new LEDVANCE Parathom portfolio, LEDVANCE is supporting professional users such as installers to achieve the full potential of connected lighting for their customers. The new LEDVANCE Parathom portfolio for residential and garden areas can be controlled optionally by voice command or app and offers a suitable solution for a wide range of requirements. The portfolio offers a combination of quality, innovation, reliability and user-friendliness and is complemented by easy installation, good value for money and features such as colour and colour temperature change or dimming capabilities.

Covid-19 Tech Diary: Design Specs for Tackling The Pandemic
Has the electronics industry done enough tackling the pandemic? How have design engineers responded to Covid-19? The spread of the virus has renewed calls for technology innovation. Whither the tech industry and its cutting-edge technology innovations? critics ask. The semiconductor industry is nothing without innovation. Critics are missing the point: The semiconductor industry operates on design cycles, which are continually shrinking. But nothing can be designed and taped out overnight.

Waze Beacons in Smart Tunnel installed by U Mobile – no more navigation dropouts when out of GPS range
The Storm Water Management and Road Tunnel (Smart) is a convenient – if a little expensive – way of getting around the city, but it’s also a source of annoyance for some drivers. That’s because the lack of GPS signal in the tunnel stumps most navigation systems, causing motorists to miss key mid-tunnel exits and resulting in costly U-turns. But worry no more, because the world’s longest dual-purpose tunnel now gets Waze Beacon technology thanks to a partnership with Waze and telecommunications provider U Mobile.

Contact Tracing: Ensuring our data privacy isn’t gone without a trace
Contact tracing for COVID-19 is critical to returning our nation to some semblance of normalcy, but we are far from a consensus on what effective, secure, cost-feasible and scalable contact tracing looks like. There are several documented, meaningful automated contact tracing efforts across the globe – not to mention more than 150 apps and initiatives in various stages of development.

Nordic Semi nRF21540 RF front end module Extends the Range of nRF52/nRF53 Bluetooth SoC’s
A little while ago, we wrote about RFCat N32 board integrating Meshtek-H52 module with nRF52832 2.4GHz multi-protocol SoC and a Skyworks power amplifier increasing power by up to 30 times to extend the wireless range to up to 200 meters. It turns out Nordic Semi outed its own range extender module late last year with nRF21540 RF front end module (FEM) that integrates a power amplifier (PA) and low noise amplifier (LNA) optimized to boost the link budget of the nRF52 and nRF53 multi-protocol wireless SoCs.

Phonak introduces Paradise, a new paradigm in hearing aid sound quality
Phonak, a leading global provider of life-changing hearing solutions, today announces next-generation Paradise hearing technology and introduces Audéo™ Paradise, the multifunctional hearing aid that delivers an excellent hearing experience with industry-leading wireless connectivity. With a host of newly developed hardware and software features working perfectly in sync, Paradise gives access to subtle layers and textures of sounds in numerous environments.

Dialog Semiconductor’s FusionHD NOR Flash Memory Compatible and Qualified with its SmartBond Bluetooth Low Energy Wireless MCUs
Dialog Semiconductor announced that its FusionHD NOR flash memories, which came to Dialog through its recent acquisition of Adesto Technologies, are compatible and qualified for use with Dialog’s SmartBond DA1469x family of Bluetooth low energy (BLE) microcontrollers (MCUs). With the combined solution, customers can deploy the latest BLE technology while keeping power consumption to a minimum in a wide range of industrial and connected consumer applications.

Iridium Announces Beta Partners to Validate its New Iridium Edge® Solar Remote Asset Management Device
Iridium Communications Inc. today announced six beta partners for its newest out-of-the-box satellite IoT device, the Iridium Edge Solar – an intelligent, secure and maintenance-free solar-powered remote asset management device with over-the-air configuration capabilities.  The six companies selected to participate in beta testing include CLS Telemetry,  Everywhere Communications, Marlink, M2M Connectivity, Rock Seven, and Tesacom.

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