IoT category

SensorTile, An Accurate Development Kit For Biometric Wearables

Valencell, a biometric wearable sensor technology company, in partnership with STMicroelectronics, an electronics and semiconductor manufacturer, announced a new highly accurate and scalable development kit for biometric wearables. The kit combines ST’s compact SensorTile turnkey multi-sensor module with Valencell’s Benchmark biometric sensor system.

The SensorTile is a tiny IoT module (13.5mm x 13.5mm) that features a powerful STM32L4 microcontroller, a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) chipset, a wide spectrum of high-accuracy motion and environmental MEMS sensors (accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, pressure, temperature sensor), and a digital MEMS microphone.

The on-board low-power STM32L4 microcontroller makes it work as a sensing and connectivity hub for developing firmware and shipping in products such as wearables, gaming accessories, and smart-home or IoT devices.

Key Features:

  • FCC (ID: S9NSTILE01) and IC (IC: 8976C-STILE01) certified
  • Included in the development kit package:
    • SensorTile module
    • SensorTile expansion Cradle board equipped with audio DAC, USB port, STM32 Nucleo, Arduino UNO R3 and SWD connector
    • SensorTile Cradle with battery charger, humidity and temperature sensor, SD memory card slot, USB port and breakaway SWD connector
    • 100 mAh Li-Ion battery
    • Plastic box for housing the SensorTile cradle and the battery
    • SWD programming cable
  • Software libraries and tools
    • STSW-STLKT01: SensorTile firmware package that supports sensors raw data streaming via USB, data logging on SDCard, audio acquisition and audio streaming. It includes low level drivers for all the on-board devices
    • BLUEMICROSYSTEM1 and BLUEMICROSYSTEM2: STM32Cube expansion software package, supporting different algorithms tailored to the on-board sensors
    • FP-SNS-ALLMEMS1 and FP-SNS-MOTENV1: STM32 ODE functional packs
    • ST BlueMS: iOS and Android demo Apps
    • BlueST-SDK: iOS and Android Software Development Kit
    • Compatible with STM32 ecosystem through STM32Cube support

“Valencell’s Benchmark solution leverages the high accuracy of ST’s MEMS sensor technology along with SensorTile’s miniature form factor, flexibility, and STM32 Open Development Environment-based ecosystem,” said Tony Keirouz, Vice President Marketing and Applications, Microcontrollers, Security, and Internet of Things, STMicroelectronics. “Combined, SensorTile and Benchmark enable wearable makers to quickly and easily develop the perfect product for any application that integrates highly accurate biometrics.”

Integrating ST’s SensorTile development kit with Valencell’s Benchmark sensor technology simplifies the prototyping, evaluation, and development of innovative wearable and IoT solutions. That’s done by delivering a complete Valencell PerformTek technology package, ready for immediate integration and delivery into wearable devices. The collaboration with ST expands on previous work that incorporated the company’s STM32 MCUs and sensors into Valencell’s Benchmark sensor system.

“Working with ST has allowed us to bring together the best of all sensors required to support the most advanced wearable use cases through our groundbreaking Benchmark sensor system,” said Dr. Steven LeBoeuf, president and co-founder of Valencell.

The kit is in volume production and is available for about $80. You can order it and get more information and technical details through the official page.

Source: ElectronicSpecifier

EasyESP-1: A beginner’s prototyping board for ESP8266

ESP8266 has made it possible for makers to develop IoT applications in much simpler and more inexpensive ways. EasyESP-1 is a new ESP8266 prototyping board, specially designed for beginners by Raj from Embedded Lab. With an onboard USB-to-Serial converter pre-installed, EasyESP-1 does not require any additional hardware to download your application firmware to the ESP8266 chip. The ESP module used in this development board is ESP-12E. All the I/O pins are broken out to 0.1” female headers for easy access, as well as to standard Grove connectors for connecting Grove sensors and other compatible modules. The 180-point breadboard further facilitates experimenting and testing of external circuits. You can buy EasyESP-1 from their Tindie Store.

EasyESP-1 makes ESP8266 prototyping easy

Features

  • Easy access to all GPIO pin through female headers and Grove connectors
  • On-board USB-UART chip for easy programming and debugging
  • 180-point breadboard for experimenting with test circuits
  • On-board 3.3V (800 mA) regulated power supply
  • Two tact switches for user inputs, and one output LED
  • Slide switch to enable/disable auto Wake Up feature during Sleep mode

For more details about EasyESP-1, visit Raj’s Page.

Wireless sensor module speeds IoT product development

Using standard ICs and open software ecosystem from STMicroelectronics, Samtec has introduced its first Samtec nMode wireless sensor module. The production-ready solution allows engineers to remotely sense and measure inertial, environmental and acoustical parameters. By Graham Prophet @ edn-europe.com

The 13.5 x 13.5 mm nMode module contains a MEMS accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, pressure sensor, and a MEMS microphone — all from STMicroelectronics. The small size suits the nMode to use as a standalone node for products such as wearables, gaming accessories, and smart-home or Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices.

Wireless sensor module speeds IoT product development – [Link]

SmartPID, The New Open Platform For Your Projects

ARZAMAN Smart Engineering is a small innovative Italian startup company that develops smart hi-tech solutions, by working on specific ideas for a specific hobbyist market. ARZMAN has just launched a new product: SmartPID!
SmartPID Controller is a hi-tech product that facilitates temperature and process control. It has the ability to control any thermos-regulated process, heating or cooling, and also it can control any application in your home. In addition, it is compatible with Arduino, so you have the chance now to move your applications to the next step!

It is provided with two apps: smart thermostat app and the smart brewing app. The smart thermostat app can be used for any thermal regulated process, while the brewing app is is a vertical application that is dedicated to brewing process automation from mashing to boiling.

SmartPID is IoT-ready,cloud-connected, and runs PID algorithm. In addition, it has the  following features:

SmartPID is powered by SAMD21 32-bit ARM® Cortex®-M0+ by Atmel and it has 8 Mb EEPROM and ESP8266 WiFi module with many other specifications and advantages as shown in the picture.

It is totally compatible with Arduino since it
has SAMD21 processor, a dedicated USB bootloader and board definition, can be programmed with Arduino IDE and can use the libraries available.

SmartPID comes with a mobile app to control and monitor the project installed. Check this video to see the app in action.

“SmartPID is not a simple controller or thermostat, is more an “open platform” powerful and flexible where the resources and I/O can be used for different applications, different environments and integration. My idea is to develop an ecosystem of “vertical” applications on top of a common set of features” -Davide Arzarello, founder of ARZAMAN Smart Engineering.

SmartPID is now live in a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo and it has only one week to go. You can pre-order it now preloaded with the thermostat app for around €89. Check SmartPID website and the campaign page to know more details and specifications. You can see SmartPID in action in this promo video:

AS7221, An IoT Smart Lighting Manager

ams AG, a multinational semiconductor manufacturer and provider of high performance sensors and analog ICs, had announced the AS7221, an integrated white-tunable smart lighting manager that can be controlled through its network connection by means of simple text-based commands.

AS7221 Block Diagram

AS7221 is a networking-enabled IoT Smart Lighting Manager with embedded tri-stimulus color sensing for direct CIE color point mapping and control. IoT luminaire control is through a network connection, or by direct connection to 0-10V dimmers, with control outputs that include direct PWM to LED drivers and analog 0-10V to dimming ballasts. A simple text-based Smart Lighting Command Set and serial UART interface, enable easy integration to standard network clients.

Key features of AS7221:

  • Calibrated XYZ tri-stimulus color sensing for direct translation to CIE 1931/1976 standard observer color maps
  • Autonomous color point and lumen output adjustment resulting in automatic spectral and lumen maintenance
  • Simple UART interface for connection to network hardware clients for protocols such as Bluetooth, ZigBee and WiFi
  • Smart Lighting Command Set (SLCS) uses simple text-based commands to control and configure a wide variety of functions
  • Directly interfaces to 0-10V dimmer controls and standard occupancy sensors
  • Built-in PWM generator to dim LED lamps and luminaires
  • 12-bit resolution for precise dimming down to 1%
  • 0-10V analog output for control of conventional dimming ballasts in a current steering design
  • 20-pin LGA package 4.5mm x 4.7mm x 2.5mm with integrated aperture

“The next generation of lighting will be defined by three key characteristics: controllability, adaptation and connected architectures,” said Tom Griffiths, Senior Marketing Manager at ams. “Our new family of smart lighting managers meet those criteria. With this latest entry, we are addressing the luminaire manufacturers’ critical time-to-market challenge for developing and deploying a spectrally tunable luminaire that is cost-effective, accurate, and which smoothly integrates into the Internet of Things”.

The AS7221 is the first extension to ams’s recently announced Cognitive Lighting™ smart lighting manager family. The compact AS7221 will be available in a 5x5mm LGA package, for flexible integration into both luminaires and larger replacement lamps.

There are main domains of AS7221 applications, some of them are:

  • Smart home and smart building
  • Variable CCT general lighting industrial lighting
  • Retail and hospitality lighting with white-color tuning
  • LED tro ers, panel and downlights
  • LED replacement lamps (LED bulbs)
AS7221 Functional Diagram

Pricing for the AS7221 Spectral Tuning IoT Smart Lighting Manager is set at $3.13 in quantities of 10,000 pieces, and is available in production volumes now.

You can find AS7221 datasheet here.

Android Things, Google’s IoT Platform

Google had launched Android Things,  a new comprehensive IoT platform for building smart devices on top of Android APIs and Google’s own services. Android Things is now available as a developer preview.

Android Things was basically launched as an enhancement for Brillo, Android based OS used for embedded development in particular for low-power IoT devices, and it is based on its feedback and best practices. Google had announced Android Things as re-branding of Brillo to solve many issues like the security of IoT devices.

Platform Architecture

Both work in conjunction with Weave, an open, standardized communications protocol that supports various discovery, provisioning, and authentication functions. Weave enables device setup, phone-to-device-to-cloud communication, and user interaction from mobile devices and the web. The chief benefit is allowing a “standardized” way for consumers to set up devices. Belkin WeMo, LiFX, Honeywell, Wink, TP-Link and First Alert will adopt Weave to make their devices able to interact with some Google products like Google Assistant.

One of the great things about Brillo was the security issue with IoT applications solved by choosing to use secure boot and signed over-the-air updates and providing timely patches at the OS level. Partnered with hardware manufacturers to build new devices based on Intel Edison, NXP Pico and the Raspberry Pi 3, Google will build the needed infrastructure to run the OS updates and fix security issues respectively on these devices.

Android Things makes developing connected embedded devices easy by providing the same Android development tools, best-in-class Android framework, and Google APIs that make developers successful on mobile. For more details about Android Things you can check the documentation provided here, where you can find also the developer’s preview.

Apollo2 MCU Paves The Way For New Generation IoT Devices

Ambiq Micro, the leader in ultra-low power solutions, launched  the Apollo 2 Wearables and IoT Platform. The Platform offers breakthrough power consumption of under 10 μA/MHz, which allows for double the battery life in wearable devices. Apollo 2’s performance will lead to longer battery life, enhanced intelligence and improved functionality in wearables and IoT consumer electronics (CE) products. Ambiq Micro’s Apollo 2 Platform provides dramatic reductions in energy consumption through its patented Subthreshold Power Optimized Technology (SPOT™) technology.

“The incredible pace of Moore’s Law disrupted computing every year or two and took us from room-sized supercomputers to billions of pocket-sized mobile phones,” said Scott Hanson, founder and CTO, Ambiq Micro. “Ambiq Micro’s SPOT technology will bring a similar pace of innovation to the IoT. As the foundation of our Apollo MCU, SPOT allows us to drive energy consumption below what we previously imagined was possible. With Apollo 2, we extend the SPOT technology to achieve new efficiencies for the next wave of IoT and connected devices.”

Apollo 2 MCU key features and specifications

  • Ultra-low supply current
    • <10 μA/MHz executing from flash at 3.3 V
    • <10 μA/MHz executing from RAM at 3.3 V
  • ARM Cortex-M4 Processor up to 48 MHz with FPU, MMU, wake-up interrupt controller with 32 interrupts
  • Ultra-low power memory
    • Up to 1 MB of flash memory for code/data
    • Up to 256 KB of low leakage RAM for code/data
    • 16kB 1 or 2-way Associative Cache
  • Ultra-low power interface for off-chip sensors
    • 14 bit, 15-channel, up to 1.2 MS/s ADC
    • Voltage comparator
    • Temperature sensor with +/-2ºC accuracy
  • Serial peripherals – 6x I2C/SPI master,1x I2C/SPI slave,2x UART, PDM for mono and stereo audio microphone
  • Clock sources
    • 32.768 kHz XTAL oscillator
    • Low frequency RC oscillator – 1.024 kHz
    • High frequency RC oscillator – 48 MHz
    • RTC based on Ambiq’s AM08X5/18X5 families
  • Wide operating range – 1.8-3.6 V, –40 to 85°C
  • Package –  2.5 x 2.5 mm 49-pin CSP with 34 GPIO; 4.5 x 4.5 mm 64-pin BGA with 50 GPIO

You can check the product page to know more about Apollo2, but for further information and documentation you have to contact Ambiq Micro.

Source: Ambiq Micro, CNXSoft

The Winkel Board, All-in-one Arduino Compatible Board

Mintbox Technologies is an Indian tech startup who build smarter connected devices for everyone. It is specialized in consumer electronics, open source software & hardware, PCB design services. Mintbox latest product is The Winkel Board, a powerful new Arduino-compatible, open source hardware platform for development and prototyping.

 

Based on the Atmel ATmega128 microcontroller, The Winkel Board is designed to be easy to use for both junior and senior makers including many popular peripherals such as WiFi, radio, and Bluetooth on board.

Check this video to know The Winkel Board features:

 

By providing an all-in-one compatible Arduino board, Mintbox team is working to solve the routine each maker does before starting a project, which they clarify in this list:

TODO for a maker while building something awesome:
-Prepare a list of right electronics components
-Prepare BOM
-Search them locally or online to fit the BOM
-Wait for the components to arrive if sourced online
-Getting started with prototyping
-Go online again studying libraries and figuring out how they can be interfaced on breadboard or etch a PCB
-Finally start building and actually working on your project and then try not to rage quit

The Winkel Board specifications

  • MCU – Microchip/Atmel ATmega128 MCU @ 16 MHz with 128KB flash memory, 4KB SRAM, 4KB EEPROM
  • Connectivity
    • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n via ESP12E module based on ESP8266
    • Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR via HC-05 module
    • RF Radio – NRF24l01 2.4 GHz ISM radio.
  • I/Os (through both Atmel MCU and ESP8266)
    • 38x Digital I/Os
    • 7x PWM Digital I/Os
    • 8x Analog Inputs
  • USB – micro USB port for programming and power
  • Misc – DS3231 Real-Time Clock + CR2032 battery slot, a few LEDS, reset button, jumper for OTA mode, ISP header, optional MPU-6050 Gyro+accelerometer mount
  • Power Supply – 5 V
  • Dimensions – TBD
Pinout Diagram

 

This board is said to be a one stop platform, that combines different communication protocols and allows a lot of I/O operations, thus you can do everything at once or choose specific on-board components to work with.

The Winkel Board is completely open source, you can check Mintbox’s Github once they upload all the source files soon. This board is now live in a crowd -funding campaign, you can pre-order your own Winkel now for around $21.

Weather Widget using ESP8266

deba168‘s new instructable is a weather widget: “an application that can be downloaded on your PC, laptop or a mobile device and perform the job of providing easy access to weather information”

It’s an ESP8266 based weather display unit which retrieves localized weather information from http://www.wunderground.com by WLAN and displays it on a 128×64 OLED display. It displays the current time with date, some weather information like temperature, pressure, humidity and rainfall, and finally the forecasting for the next 3 days.

Check this demo video:

In order to build this project you need the following parts:

  1. ESP8266 -01 (eBay )
  2. Optional NodeMCU ESP8266-12 ( eBay )
  3. OLED Display (eBay )
  4. Voltage Regulator AMS1117 ( eBay )
  5. Tactile Switch (eBay )
  6. Slide Switch ( eBay )
  7. Resistors ( 10K and 330R )
  8. Female Double Row Straight Pin Header ( eBay )
  9. Male Double Row Right Angle Pin Header ( eBay )
  10. Jumper Wires ( eBay )
  11. Prototype Board ( eBay )

You can build the circuit as per the design below on a  prototype board or a PCB:

 

For programming you have to use these files:

Arduino Code: ESP8266 Weather Station

Libraries : Json Streaming Parser, ESP8266 Oled Driver for SSD1306 display

The project’s maker advises you to follow his steps in the code inside this zip file to avoid any problems in compiling.

For obtaining data from the Weather Underground , you need to get an API key through signing up in the website and purchasing one. Once you clarify that you won’t use it for commercial use, you won’t be asked for any pay methods.

To make sure that the code will work correctly, you have to change the following things.

  1. Enter the Wunderground API Key
  2. Enter your Wifi credentials
  3. Adjust the location according to Wunderground API
  4. Adjust UTC offset

The final step will be programming the ESP8266 module using FTDI programmer.

Check this video for more information and to see the project in action:

 

You can check the instructable page for more information and detailed tutorial.

Bluetooth 5 Is Here!

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) has officially launched the core specifications of the new version of Bluetooth: Bluetooth 5. These specifications include longer range, faster speed, and larger broadcast message capacity, as well as improved interoperability and coexistence with other wireless technologies than recent Bluetooth versions, making it possible to advance IoT applications and usages.

Bluetooth is revolutionizing how people experience the IoT. Bluetooth 5 continues to drive this revolution by delivering reliable IoT connections and mobilizing the adoption of beacons, which in turn will decrease connection barriers and enable a seamless IoT experience” says Mark Powell, SIG’s executive director.

Keeping up with powering IoT, Bluetooth 5 has some additional features that better enable industrial automation and whole home coverage by addressing challenges like range and download speeds. It is said to improve location awareness with a smarter technology that collects data to provide personalized experiences for the end user.

While doubling the speed to enable the making of more responsive devices, Bluetooth 5 developers didn’t miss to maintain low-power consumption that results a faster data transfer.

By 2021, ABI Research predicts 48 billion internet-enabled devices will be installed, and Bluetooth—predicted to be in nearly one-third of those devices—is a cornerstone of that growth.

“The global wireless connectivity market is growing rapidly, with an anticipated 10 billion annual IC shipments by 2021,” said Andrew Zignani with ABI Research. “The introduction of Bluetooth 5 will create new opportunities in various verticals of the IoT market by reducing complexity and cost and giving manufacturers greater flexibility in targeting multiple applications and use cases.”

Within two to six months, new products are expected to be launched using this ubiquitous technology, so stay tuned!

More details about Bluetooth 5 here: www.bluetooth.com/bluetooth5