SMA-Q Smartwatch Mini Review and Teardown

I had great hopes for SMA-Q smartwatch, as it features an always on color e-Paper display, a built-in heart rate monitor, and promised 30-day standby battery life, as well as being 30-meter water resistant. But last week, I found out that the latter did not mean waterproof, and instead the watch was rated IP65 that’s only good enough to wash hands and a little rain, but not showering let alone swimming. In the last week, I could play with the watch, and found some serious Bluetooth connectivity issues (with Iocean M6752 smartphone), and I was recommended to upgrade the firmware of SMA-Q watch, and after that my Bluetooth issue have somewhat improve, but everything pretty much went downhill, and the watch is now out of order, and shows no sign of life. So while I was expecting to write a full review, I’ll simply report with experience with the watch […]

Cypress Unveils a $49 Solar Powered IoT Development Kit with Bluetooth LE Connectivity

Cypress Semiconductors has recently launched a Solar powered IoT device kit, with the easy-to-remember codename S6SAE101A00SA1002, featuring the company’s CYBLE-022001-00 Bluetooth Smart module, and S6AE101A energy harvesting power management IC (PMIC) on the main board, as well as all accessories such as a small solar panel, a BLE-USB bridge, and all necessary components and cables. Target applications include battery-less wireless sensor node (WSN), IoT device that monitors various sensors, BLE Beacon, wearable device, building energy management system (BEMS), Home EMS, Factory EMSystem, wireless lighting control,wireless HVAC sensor and security system. The main features of the Energy harvesting motherboard include: Cypress CYBLE-022001-00 Bluetooth Smart module with ARM Cortex-M0 @ 48MHz, 128 KB flash, 16KB SRAM Cypress S6AE101A energy harvesting PMIC Sensor – Temperature & humidity sensor USB – 1x USB port for programming and debugging Debugging – SWD (serial Wire Debug) connector, JTAG header for USB-BLE Expansion – Sensor expansion connector […]

Omate Rise is a $199 3G and WiFi Smartwatch Powered by Mediatek MT2601 SoC (Crowdfunding)

Most smartwatches sold on the western markets are designed to be smartphone’s companions, and only come with Bluetooth LE connectivity, while we’ve seen many smartwatches (aka watchphones) with SIM card slot originating from China in the past, including the lower end No.1 D3 smartwatch which I reviewed recently. But this may be changing, as Omate is going to launch a new smartwatch called Omate Rise that will include 3G connectivity via a micro SIM card slot, as well as WiFi, Bluetooth Smart, and GPS. Omate Rise specifications: SoC – Mediatek MT2601 dual core ARM Cortex A7 @ 1.2GHz with ARM Mali-400 MP GPU System Memory –  512MB RAM Storage – 4GB flash Display – 1.3″ round muti-touch color display with 360×360 resolution (Innolux) Connectivity – Bluetooth 4.1 LE (A2DP profile), WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, GPS Cellular Connectivity – 3.5G HSDPA (2100/1900 MHz), GPRS / EDGE /GSM (850/900/1800/1900 MHz); micro SIM card […]

NanoPi2 is a Tiny Board with Samsung S5P4418 Processor, WiFi and Bluetooth Connectivity

FriendlyARM released NanoPi board this summer, a small and inexpensive development board based on Samsung S3C2451 ARM9 processor with both WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity. The company has now unveils a more powerful, and slightly wider, version with NanoPi2 featuring Samsung S5P4418 quad core Cortex A9 processor with 1GB RAM, AP6212 wireless module, a new HDMI output, and the same connectors for I/Os and LCD displays. NanoPi2 specifications: SoC – Samsung S5P4418 quad core Cortex A9 processor @ up to 1.4GHz System Memory – 1GB 32bit DDR3 Storage – 2 x Micro SD Slot Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth LE 4.0 via AP6212 module Video Output / Display I/F- 1x HDMI 1.4a, 0.5 mm pitch SMT FPC seat for type-A full-color LCD (RGB: 8-8-8) Camera – 24-pin DVP interface USB – 1x USB Host port; 1x micro USB 2.0 OTG port for power and data Expansions Headers – 40-pin […]

Arduino 101 Board Features Intel Curie Module, Bluetooth LE, and Sensors

I’ve recently learned that the battle between the two Arduino teams, namely Arduino SRL (arduino.org) in Italy, and Arduino LLC (arduino.cc) in the US, had taken another turn with Arduino LLC now branding their boards as Arduino in the US, and Genuino in the rest of the world. This may certainly bring confusion to new comers, especially as they have to deal with different version of the Arduino IDE. With that backdrop, Arduino LLC has now introduced Arduino 101 (aka Genuino 101) board powered by Intel Curie module with Quark SE x86 SoC with Bluetooth LE and a 6-axis combo sensor. Arduino 101 specifications: SoC – Intel Curie compute module including an Intel Quark SE x86 32-bit microcontroller @ 32 MHz and an a DSP sensor hub @ 32Mhz with 384 KB flash, 80 KB SRAM (24KB available for sketches), , Bluetooth LE, and 6-axis combo sensor with accelerometer and […]

Freescale Kinetis KW41Z Wireless MCU Supports Bluetooth 4.2, Zigbee, and Thread

Freescale has unveiled a new wireless micro-controller part of their Kinetis MCU family with Kinetis KW41Z, based on an ARM Cortex M0+ core, and supporting both the latest Bluetooth 4.2 specifications, as well as a 802.15.4 radio allowing support for Zigbee and Thread. Kinetis KW41Z main features and specifications: ARM Cortex-M0+ core @ 48 MHz, with up to 512 KB Flash memory, up to 128 KB SRAM, and an integrated balun Multi Protocol Radio 2.4 GHz radio, Bluetooth Low Energy 4.2 compliant IEEE 802.15.4-2011 standard compliant radio Receiver Sensitivity (Typ.) –  BLE: -96 dBm;  802.15.4:  -102 dBm Programmable Transmitter Output Power up to +4 dBm I/Os – 2x I2C, 2x SPI, LPUART, TSI, CMT and GPIOs with interrupt capabilities Analog modules – 16-bit ADC, 12-bit DAC, 6-bit High Speed Analog Comparator (CMP) Security – AES-128 Accelerator (AESA), True Random Number Generator (TRNG) Operating Voltage Ranges Bypass Voltage: 1.71V to 3.6V […]

Atmel Unveils the World’s Smallest Bluetooth 4.1 LE SoC, and BTLC1000 Xplained Pro Development Kit

Atmel has just announced it is now shipping SmartConnect BTLC1000 Bluetooth Smart (BLE 4.1) SoC in production quantities. The chip is remarkable thanks to its size, as the company managed to pack an ARM Cortex-M0 MCU, a transceiver, a modem, MAC, PA, TR Switch, and Power Management Unit (PMU) into a 2.26×2.14 mm package. Atmel SmartConnect BTLC1000 Bluetooth LE SoC key features and specifications: MCU – ARM Cortex M0 @ 26 MHz 128KB IRAM/DRAM, 128KB ROM Connectivity – Bluetotoh 4.1 Smart with L2CAP service layer protocols, Security Manager, Attribute protocol (ATT), Generic Attribute Profile (GATT) and the Generic Access Profile (GAP). Proximity, Thermometer, Heart Rate, Blood Pressure, and others profiles are also included in the protocol stack. I/Os – Up to 15, including 2x UART, 2x SPI, and 2x I2C. Hardware Crypto – AES-128, SHA-256 Operating Voltage – 1.8 – 4.3V Power Consumption – > 4mA in RX, and >3mA […]

LimiFrog is a Bluetooth 4.1 Wearables Devkit Based on STM32L4 with Lots of Sensors (Crowdfunding)

LimitFrog is a tiny board powered by STMicro STM32-L4 microcontroller with Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity, plenty of sensors, and that can run code bare metal as well as RiOT real-time operating system. LimiFrog specifications: MCU – STMicro STM32-L4 ARM Cortex M4 micro-controller @ 80 MHz with DSP, 512KB flash, 128KB RAM External storage – 8MB serial flash for data that supports FAT32 file system Display – 160×128 RGB565 OLED display Connectivity – Bluetooth 4.1 (Panasonic PAN1740) Sensors (Follow this link for datasheets of most components) Pressure, altitude & temperature (LPS25H) 3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis gyroscope (LSM6DS3) 3-axis magnetometer (LIS3MDL) Ambient light, proximity and distance (VL6180X) Ambient sound (SPU0414H5H) USB – micro USB port for power and programming Expansions – 11-pin (through holes) providing access to SPI, I2C, CAN, PWM, GPIOs, ADC, DAC, Analog out, and power signals (3V out GND) Battery – 500 mAh (hours to weeks of battery life depending on […]