Weekly Bluetooth Industry Report (Feb 14, 2020)

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Laird Connectivity Announces New Bluetooth 5.1 Module That Delivers Longer Range for Next Gen Industrial IoT Enablement
Laird Connectivity, a global leader in wireless technology, has announced the new BL653 embedded Bluetooth 5.1 module series which enables industrial OEMs to implement longer range BLE applications in the harshest industrial operating environments. The BL653 is a complete multi-protocol embedded wireless offering with exceptional processing capability, Bluetooth 5.1 direction finding with angle of arrival (AoA) and angle of departure (AoD), and extended temperature range ideal for extremely challenging RF environments and wireless industrial IoT applications.

SweynTooth Bug Collection Affects Hundreds of Bluetooth Products​
Security researchers have disclosed a dozen flaws in the implementation of the Bluetooth Low Energy technology on multiple system-on-a-chip (SoC) circuits that power at least 480 from various vendors. Collectively named SweynTooth, the vulnerabilities can be used by an attacker in Bluetooth range can crash affected devices, force a reboot by sending them into a deadlock state, or bypass the secure BLE pairing mode and access functions reserved for authorized users.

120,000 sq feet illuminated by Bluetooth mesh luminaires
Located in the picturesque city of Red Deer, Westerner Park is Central Alberta’s largest trade show, agriculture, entertainment and sports facility. For more than 125 years, it has been a destination of choice for locals gathering to celebrate all kinds of community events. Just recently, it has also become home to some of the biggest Bluetooth mesh lighting control networks.

Apple Tag device trackers: When will Apple’s Tile rival launch?
It seems that Apple wants to introduce Apple Tag – a new rival to Tile, the popular tracker that attaches to items in order to track their physical location over Bluetooth or via crowdsourcing. The trackers would be a natural progression now that Apple has introduced an all-new Find My app that merges its Find My iPhone with Find My Friends services into one single package.

5 Wireless IoT Communication Trends To Watch In 2020
Everything is going wireless. According to the latest forecast by Gartner, internet of things (IoT) connections for the enterprise and automotive markets alone will increase by 21% from 2019, reaching a staggering 5.8 billion endpoints in 2020. The coming year is expected to mark more IoT milestones with growing uses of new wireless standards expanded upon existing technologies. At the same time, we will witness rising radio resource challenges and the implementation of innovative approaches to address them.

MCU optimised for low-power wireless communication and advanced sensing
Texas Instruments CC2652RB SimpleLink Wireless MCU is a multiprotocol 2.4GHz wireless crystal-less MCU with integrated TI BAW resonator technology. The device supports Thread, Zigbee, Bluetooth 5.1 Low Energy, IEEE 802.15.4, IPv6-enabled smart objects (6LoWPAN), and proprietary systems. This includes the company’s 15.4-Stack (2.4GHz) and concurrent multiprotocol operation through the Dynamic Multiprotocol Manager software driver.

Sydney joins Brisbane in adding GPS support beacons to tunnels
Frustrating underground GPS dropouts will soon be a distant memory for Sydney motorists, as the city becomes the second in Australia to receive special bluetooth beacons in a select number of its tunnels. Sydney has joined Brisbane in introducing the new Waze-designed technology, which is able to provide phone navigation systems with a bluetooth signal even when GPS coverage is not available

GTX Corp Launches New Health & Safety Platform
GTX Corp (GTXO) (GTX), a pioneer in the field of GPS wearable technology, people & asset tracking Location-Based Services (LBS) and Real-Time Location Systems (RTLS), today announced the launch of its new Health and Safety suite of products. This new platform will focus more on NFC, BLE and IoT technology along with other patented technologies to produce a variety of products that can be used alone or integrated across a wide array of vertical markets and applications.

Adafruit Feather Bluefruit wireless sensor board soon available
Adafruit has today announced the Adafruit Feather Bluefruit Sense development board will be soon arriving in their online store, building on the popular Feather nRF52840 Express, by adding a range of sensors that can be accessed wirelessly. The Feather microcontroller is equipped with Bluetooth Low Energy connectivity together with native USB support featuring the nRF52840. Offering an ‘all-in-one’ Arduino compatible mini development board, supporting CircuitPython.

What Is Bluetooth LE Audio, and Why Will You Want It?
Wireless headphones are already worth the money, and soon, they’ll be even better. Bluetooth LE Audio promises a new high-power, low-energy audio codec. You can expect longer battery life, the ability to stream to multiple sets of headphones simultaneously, and more! What Is Bluetooth LE Audio?
Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) Audio is a new standard for low-power audio transmission over Bluetooth. It’s separate from Bluetooth 5 and 5.1.

What’s the Difference Between Bluetooth LE and Bluetooth LE Audio?
This is actually a story about the latest standard from the Bluetooth SIG, Bluetooth LE Audio. The new standard differs from Bluetooth Low Energy, which is abbreviated Bluetooth LE or even BLE. Bluetooth LE came out about a decade ago and the latest standard is Bluetooth 5. The brand-new Bluetooth LE Audio was announced at the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES). It represents a fundamental change to how Bluetooth handles audio, which is one of the primary uses for Bluetooth. The original Bluetooth audio support is now known as “Classic Audio,” while the new version is dubbed “LE Audio”.

Bluetooth LE personal posture trainer attaches to user’s back and provides body alignment feedback
Nordic Semiconductor today announces that Upright Technologies Ltd, a Tel Aviv, Israel-based health and wellness technology company, has selected Nordic’s nRF52832 Bluetooth® Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) System-on-Chip (SoC) to provide the wireless connectivity for its ‘UPRIGHT GO 2™’ personal posture trainer.

RoomMe Personal Location Sensor app adds support for Siri Shortcuts and more
First announced back at CES 2020, Intellithings has released an update to its RoomMe Personal Location Sensor app to add support for Siri Shortcuts, giving owners of the company’s smart home accessory a way to activate “charms” via voice manually. RoomMe’s charms are essentially smart home automations, that can set specific lighting levels, or play a favorite playlist automatically based on who has entered the room.

The MCU Dilemma
The humble microcontroller is getting squeezed on all sides. While most of the semiconductor industry has been able to take advantage of Moore’s Law, the MCU market has faltered because flash memory does not scale beyond 40nm. At the same time, new capabilities such as voice activation and richer sensor networks are requiring inference engines to be integrated for some markets. In others, reliability, safety and/or security are adding to the levels of complexity demanded in these devices. As a result, MCU vendors are rethinking what these devices look like, dispelling many long-held assumptions.

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