XBAND is a Tiny $10 Bluetooth Low Energy Sensor Module (Crowdfunding)

Orange Pi Development Boards

ZX Tek‘s XBAND is a board about half the size of a micro SD that comes with a Bluetooth LE radio and a 6-axis MPU6500 motion sensor that can be integrated into wearables and IoT applications such as a remote controlled robot with a camera., a wireless smart light-bulb, and iBeacon device and so on.

Xband_Bluetooth_LE_ModuleThere seems to be two versions of the module XBAND 061-N51822 and XBAND 1018-CY8C4247 with the following specifications:

  • SoC (one or the other)
    • Nordic Semiconductor nRF51822 ARM Cortex M0 MCU @ 16 MHz with 256KB Flash, 16KB RAM, and Bluetooth Low Energy support
    • Cypress PSoC4 BLE core ARM Cortex M0 MCU @ 48 MHz with 128KB flash, 16KB RAM, and Bleutooth Low Energy support
  • Bluetooth – 4.0/4.1 with high gain ceramic chip antenna
  • Sensors – On-board 6-axis MPU6500 motion sensor + an extra configurable sensor (not idea what that is…).
  • Connectors – Board-to-board connectors with access to UART, I2C, SPI and GPIO.
  • Power Supply – 1.8V to 3.6V
  • Dimensions – 18 x 6 mm (height is reported to be 1.5mm but it seems doubtful…)

Development for the Nordic version can be done with XBAND nRF51822 library for Arduino IDE, mbed online IDE, and Nordic BLE SDK for Keil and GCC, while you’d need to use PSoC Creator 3.1 for the Cypress version.

XBAND Arduino Library (Click to Enlarge)
XBAND Arduino Library (Click to Enlarge)

The company is now looking to raise $5,000 or more via a flexible funding Indiegogo campaign (that seriously lacks details). A $10 “early bird” pledge will get you a XBAND (probably with Nordic, but it could be Cypress too.. just try your luck…), but it might be an issue to power it. I actually don’t know since no details have been provided about that. A better reward might be the $15 XBAND maker edition with an XBAND mounted on an Arduino shield, so that you can simply connect it to an Arduino board. Other rewards are available with different quantities. Shipping appears to be included and delivery is scheduled for June 2015.

The company also uploaded a video with a TRON like wearable band using the Nordic module.

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JM
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If you’re looking for Cypress I hear there will be a small module (inc antenna, xtals..) from them out soon costing ~ $5 (FCC/CE approved) Then you can just add whatever sensors you want. To be honest the MPU-6500 is getting a little long in the tooth, there’s better choices out there.

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[…] just as today I wrote about XBAND BLE Sensor board, the makers of Firefly-RK3288 also announced their own Bluetooth Low Energy board aptly named […]

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This $29 TI BLE demo kit is an excellent value for $29.
http://www.ti.com/tool/cc2650stk
Full documentation schematic and PCB layout

10 sensors including support for light, digital microphone, magnetic sensor, humidity, pressure, accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, object temperature, and ambient temperature

Plus it is a multiprotocol radio. Change the firmware and it becomes Zigbee or 6lowpan.

Dv
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Dv

The Firefly team has released their BLE platform too. It’s only $19.9
http://en.t-firefly.com/en/firesmart/fireble/