Nordic Semiconductor: nRF51822 Bluetooth Smart Beacon Kit

Ultra low power (ULP) RF specialist Nordic Semiconductor ASA (OSE: NOD) today announces the release of a reference design for Bluetooth® Smart beacons based on Nordic’s multiple award-winning and class-leading nRF51822 multiprotocol Bluetooth Smart and proprietary 2.4GHz System-on-Chip (SoC). Bluetooth Smart beacons are low-cost, low-power Bluetooth low energy wireless transmitters that can advertise their location to Bluetooth Smart Ready smartphones in close proximity.

The nRF51822 Beacon Kit allows developers and engineers to develop their own beacon applications using Apple’s iBeacon™ standards, or create their own beacons based on their own specifications using Bluetooth Smart. This kit is an ideal starting point for OEMs and ODMs to begin development of beacon hardware to be used together with associated back-end services that they will typically offer as complete beacon solutions to their customers.

The kit works straight out of the box with companion smartphone apps for iOS and Android (4.1/4.3) smartphones. The firmware is available as source code from Nordic and allows example beacon scenarios to be set up quickly and easily to test out product ideas. This kit leverages the ability of the nRF51822 SoC to support full Over-The-Air Device Firmware Upgrade (OTA-DFU) enabling all beacon firmware to be updated in-situ in a transparent manner.

The Android and iOS apps have a use-case scenario based around paintings in an art gallery. The content of these apps is very quickly and easily modified and added to, so as to create as rich and populated a user environment as desired. The example scenario is easily tailored to whatever the particular application may be, for example retail and public information. By adding contextual files (for example text and images) to the smartphone app a realistic use-case example can be created.

nRF51822 Bluetooth Smart Beacon Kit features:

  • Ultra small form factor beacon (20mm diameter)
  • Powered by CR1632 coin cell battery
  • Companion Apps available for iOS and Android (4.1/4.3)
  • Source code for beacon firmware and smart phone apps
  • Support Over-The-Air Device Firmware Upgrade (OTA-DFU)
  • 10 GPIO pins available on board
  • 2 x buttons 1 x RGB LED

Video: The nRF51822 Bluetooth® Smart Beacon Kit

See also

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