u-blox Bluetooth 5 module in wearable devices for tracking Covid-19

To combat the current global Covid-19 pandemic, u-blox has revealed its power efficient Bluetooth 5 module for wearable devices. Available as either a pendant or a wristband, the TDS‑50 developed by Electronic Precepts present highly-effective tracing and tracking solution that will store the data directly on the device and then sent it to the web server periodically. To maintain the social distancing the device features vibrational and visual alerts if another TDS-50 wearer comes within a 2 meter distance for over 45 seconds.

The TDS-50 units needed a compact form factor to make them comfortable for the user to wear. It has the ability to deliver passive scanning (for social distancing purposes) over a period of up to 240 hours and support ultra-low power operation.

The u‑blox ANNA-B112, a Stand-alone Bluetooth 5 low energy proved itself to have all the attributes needed. With dimensions of just 6.5mm x 6.5mm x 1.2mm, this space-saving, highly-integrated and pre-approved system-in-package (SiP) is optimized for situations where a swift turnaround is mandated. It is based on Nordic’s nRF52832 chip-level Bluetooth technology, with a 64MHz Arm® Cortex®-M4 processing resource plus 512kB of embedded flash memory. Supporting 1.4Mbit/s data rates, it is highly suited to wearables applications and does not impact heavily on battery reserves.

“u‑blox were able to satisfy all our expectations with the ANNA-B112 module, allowing us to bring our track and trace device to market within a very short timeframe, while also addressing the stringent space and power constraints that had been set,” states Jeff Singer, CEO of Electronic Precepts. “Over ten thousand TDS-50 units have already been shipped and demand is ramping up every day. We see huge potential for it in schools, businesses and theme parks, as well as within airport environments.”

“This collaboration with Electronic Precepts gives us a valuable opportunity to highlight all of the key elements that make u‑blox technology so appealing to numerous industry sectors,” adds Carl Bellanca, Head of Sales for u‑blox Americas. “It underlines our ability to provide cutting-edge wireless solutions that have all the necessary processing and data storage capabilities, while also taking up minimal space and drawing only a relatively small amount of power.”