‘World first’ Braille smart watch for the vision-impaired integrates Nordic Semiconductor Bluetooth low energy solution
Nordic Semiconductor today announces that D.O.T, a Seoul, South Korea-based smart technology company specialising in wearable devices for people with sensory limitations, employs Nordic’s award-winning Bluetooth® low energy nRF52832 System-on-Chip (SoC). The SoC wirelessly connects the compact, economically-priced ’Dot Watch’ with the user’s Bluetooth 4.0 (and later) iOS or Android smartphone through a companion app.
In operation, the Dot Watch uses electro-dynamic cells to power a refreshable Braille display which relays information transmitted from a smartphone over the low-latency nRF52832 SoC-powered link. Users with partial sight or blindness can therefore tell the time and date, accept/decline incoming calls, and view notifications such as text messages, via the four-cell (24-dot) Braille display on the watch face.
Two touch sensors allow the user to scroll through and read each notification, while two buttons and the “Dot Crown” dial operate the various functions available on the 27g, 43mm diameter by 12.5mm thick wearable device. From the companion smartphone app users are able to configure watch settings, monitor battery status, store saved prioritized notifications, and learn from a simple Braille education module.
The ultra low power characteristics of the Nordic SoC―including the 2.4GHz radio’s 5.5mA peak RX/TX currents and fully-automatic power management system―offer 58 CoreMark/mA power efficiency and play an important role in the Dot Watch’s approximately two-week battery life (based on average use).
“The long battery live enabled inpart by the Nordic SoC’s low power consumption avoids the need to frequently charge the device with USB and is a significant lifestyle benefit to our target customers,” says Ki Kwang Sung, Chief Technology Officer with D.O.T.
Nordic’s nRF52832 Bluetooth low energy SoC, a member of Nordic’s sixth generation of ultra low power (ULP) wireless connectivity solutions, combines a 64MHz, 32-bit ARM® Cortex® M4F processor with a 2.4GHz multiprotocol radio (supporting Bluetooth 5, ANT™, and proprietary 2.4GHz RF software) featuring -96dB RX sensitivity, with 512kB Flash memory and 64kB RAM. When launched, the SoC was the world’s highest performance single-chip Bluetooth low energy solution.
The SoC is supplied with Nordic’s S132 SoftDevice, a Bluetooth 4.2 qualified RF software protocol stack for building advanced Bluetooth low energy applications. The S132 SoftDevice supports Central, Peripheral, Broadcaster, and Observer Bluetooth low energy roles, supports up to twenty connections, and enables concurrent role operation.
“Having searched across the globe to find the best Bluetooth low energy fit for our flagship product, we decided to utilize the nRF52832 SoC based on the key components that optimize the user experience of the Dot Watch―energy consumption, price point, and size,” says Ki Kwang Sung.
“Nordic’s Software Development Kit (SDK) and SoftDevice have proved uniquely and immensely helpful in the ongoing development and improvement of our Braille smart watch.”
D.O.T is finalizing preparation for a global launch of the Dot Watch through its website.
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