Development kit to build wireless demos without coding expertise

Development kit to build wireless demos without coding expertise

A development kit from Nordic Semiconductor, the Nordic Thingy:52, enables mobile and IoT app developers to build wireless demos without developing hardware or firmware. It is based on the company’s nRF52832 Bluetooth low energy system-on-chip (SoC), and incorporates a movement sensor (nine-axis including accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer), low power wake up accelerometer and pressure, temperature, humidity, air-quality, and colour sensors. It also includes a digital microphone and speaker. The kit enables app developers to configure, test, and demonstrate Bluetooth low energy IoT devices linked to mobile apps and Cloud platforms without needing RF firmware coding skills or high level development tools, says the company.

The single-board Bluetooth 5-compatible, Bluetooth low energy development kit offers ‘out-of-the-box’ wireless configuration from smartphone apps and the Cloud for IoT devices, and associated mobile device and Internet apps. The app developer configures the development kit’s embedded application over the provided Bluetooth interface from a mobile device.

The development kit is based on the nRF52832 Bluetooth low energy SoC which combines a 64MHz, 32-bit ARM Cortex M4F microprocessor with a 2.4GHz multi-protocol radio (supporting Bluetooth 5, ANT and proprietary 2.4GHz RF software), plus 512kB flash memory and 64-kB RAM. The SoC runs the company’s S132 SoftDevice, an RF software stack that can support up to 20 concurrent connections in a variety of Bluetooth low energy role combinations.

The kit’s PCB is housed in a 60 x 60-mm plastic and rubber case which includes a USB connector to charge the device’s Li-ion battery. Example firmware, and iOS and Android Bluetooth low energy connectivity apps are supplied. The company has also made additional source-code app software available on GitHub.

App developers can quickly develop IoT devices for a range of applications. Altering parameters such as the air-quality sensor’s sample rate, or switching on the color sensor, for example, is achieved via an over-the-air instruction from a smartphone or Internet app with no need to interact directly with the kit’s firmware code. More complex IoT applications are also simple to implement, says the company. For example, the kit can be configured to change its LED’s colour in response to voice commands directed at a personal assistant such as Amazon’s Alexa. The voice command triggers Alexa to contact a Cloud platform which in turn instructs an inexpensive Internet-connected router to wirelessly forward the command to activate Nordic Thingy:52.

The development platform is also Cloud-platform compatible, for security, for example – a Nordic Thingy:52 attached to a door could report the door opening to a Cloud platform which then triggers a text to a smartphone. It could also be commanded to activate connected products such as Philips Hue smart lighting when the Cloud platform registers the home owner’s smartphone is near Nordic Thingy:52’s location.

Categories: Boards, Internet of Things