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Dev Kit Enables Mobile and IoT App Developers to Build Wireless Demos without Developing Hardware or Firmware

NordyThingyUltra low power (ULP) RF specialist Nordic Semiconductor ASA has announced the introduction of “Nordic Thingy:52″, a fully-functional single-board Bluetooth5-compatible Bluetoothlow energy development kit that offers ‘out-of-the-box’ wireless configuration from smartphone apps and the Cloud.

Nordic Thingy:52 enables an app developer with no firmware coding expertise or high-level development tools to quickly design and demonstrate Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and associated mobile device and Internet apps. The app developer can quickly and easily configure the development kit’s embedded application over the provided Bluetooth interface from a mobile device.

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

Nordic Thingy:52′s PCB is housed in a 6×6-cm plastic and rubber case which includes a USB connector to charge the device’s Li-ion battery. The development kit incorporates: a built-in digital microphone and speaker; movement sensor (nine-axis including accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer); ultra low power wake up accelerometer; and pressure, temperature, humidity, air-quality, and color sensors. Nordic Thingy:52 is supplied with example firmware, and iOS and Android Bluetooth low energy connectivity apps. Nordic has also made additional source-code app software available on GitHub.

App developers can quickly develop IoT devices for a range of applications using Nordic Thingy:52. Altering parameters such as the air-quality sensor’s sample rate, or switching on the color sensor, for example, is simple to achieve via an over-the-air instruction from a smartphone or Internet app with no need to interact directly with Nordic Thingy:52′s firmware code. More complex IoT applications are also simple to implement; for example, Nordic Thingy:52 can be configured to change its LED’s color 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 example, a Nordic Thingy:52 fixed to a door could report the door opening to a Cloud platform which then triggers a text to a smartphone. Or Nordic Thingy:52 could 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.

“Nordic Thingy:52 is the ideal development kit for app developers to take advantage of the IoT’s potential,” says Pr Hkansson, a product marketing manager with Nordic Semiconductor. “Because Nordic Thingy:52 features simple over-the-air configurability from mobile devices or Cloud platforms there is no need for the app developer to go through the lengthy and complex process of learning how to use high-end development tools for firmware coding, debugging, and compilation.”

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