Ultra low power (ULP) RF specialist Nordic Semiconductor ASA announces that private German research and manufacturing company, HMM Diagnostics GmbH, has developed a 3-D pedometer (step counter) called the ‘smartLAB® move’ that can be configured to run either Bluetooth® Smart or ANT+ wireless technology while supporting over-the-air software and firmware updates using Nordic nRF51 Series System-on-chips (SoCs).
The smartLAB® move is a small and round 27mm diameter, 10mm thick device that weighs just 8g and so designed to be small and light enough to be carried around comfortably by the end users when undergoing everyday activities, and even when going on long walks, or hikes.
These 3-D pedometers are designed to collect detailed calorie-convertible data about a user’s physical activities during the course of an entire day. The 3-D tracking also makes it possible to wear the device almost anywhere on the body without affecting accuracy, for example attached to a belt or necklace, or stored in a trouser pocket.
Collected data is then sent wirelessly to an accompanying iOS or Android smartphone or tablet app, or a cloud website such as HMM Diagnostics’ own www.fitmefit.com.
Collecting and analyzing such data is said to help raise user awareness of how active they are and encourage them (if applicable) to become more active in order to promote better health and weight management.
The pedometer records both total number of user steps taken, step length, activity time, and calories consumed, and recorded data can then be transferred to either a large, easy-to-read display supplied with the device, or a Bluetooth Smart or ANT+ compatible device with a display, including smartphones, tablets, and also computers.
The pedometer also features three LEDs to show achievement status (the number of steps taken in relation to a user-definable target) and battery level, and is available in a range of different colors.
The ultra low power operating characteristics of the Nordic nRF51 Series SoCs (nRF51822 for Bluetooth Smart wireless connectivity and nRF51422 for ANT+) enables the smartLAB® move to run off a single CR2032 coin cell (watch) battery for up to 6 months under typical usage (every day with data transfer once every 10 minutes to a mobile device). HMM says most other 3-D pedometers work with rechargeable batteries that have to be charged every 5-10 days which is inconvenient for end users.
The software and firmware embedded into the smartLAB® move can also be updated quickly and easily over-the-air by the end user (e.g. to install new features and product updates) from a smartphone, tablet, or computer thanks to use of Nordic’s latest S110 SoftDevice v7.0.
A SoftDevice is Nordic’s self-contained stack for nRF51 Series SoCs that incorporates an RF protocol and its associated management framework. The S110 SoftDevice v7.0 brings a range of new features including Over-The-Air Device Firmware Upgrade (OTA-DFU) that is not possible on alternative static ROM/OTP-based ULP wireless SoCs. This means that the Nordic nRF51822 and nRF51422 SoCs’ stacks and application firmware can be upgraded quickly and easily using the devices’ own wireless link, and includes complete application and protocol stack upgrades rather than partial updates and patching.