0920 Mw U Blox Tds 50 Promo 5f515a00696a7

Bluetooth Modules Help Wearables Track and Trace COVID-19

Sept. 3, 2020
Available on wristband or pendant, a wearable checks all the boxes in terms of size, power budget, and breadth of functionality.

In the ongoing battle to overcome the coronavirus pandemic, technology plays an increasing role. To that end, u-blox confirms that its Bluetooth 5 modules are being built into wearable devices. Available as either a wristband or a pendant, the TDS‑50 wearable has been developed by Electronic Precepts to present a highly effective track-and-trace solution, with data being directly stored on the device and periodically sent to a web server. In addition, through the social-distancing function that is also featured, wearers are given visual and vibrational alerts if another TDS-50 wearer comes within 6 feet of them for over 45 seconds. The device can be used anywhere, from schools to businesses or airports.

The TDS-50 units needed a compact form factor to make them comfortable for the user to wear. They also had to support ultra-low power operation, with the ability to deliver passive scanning (for social-distancing purposes) over a period of up to 240 hours. Consequently, the wireless-communication module specified had to meet both key criteria fully. Given the immediacy of the COVID crisis, it was crucial as well that the solution could be brought to market very rapidly—with the constituent RF electronics being quick and simple to incorporate into the design and having all the necessary standards approvals in place.

u-blox's ANNA-B112, with dimensions of just 6.5 mm x 6.5 mm x 1.2 mm, is a highly integrated and pre-approved system-in-package (SiP) optimized for situations where a swift turnaround is mandated. It is based on Nordic’s nRF52832 chip-level Bluetooth technology, with a 64-MHz Arm Cortex-M4 processing resource plus 512 kB of embedded flash memory. Supporting data rates of 1.4 Mbit/s, it is highly suited to wearables applications and does not impact heavily on battery reserves.

u‑blox, u-blox.com

About the Author

David Maliniak | Executive Editor, Microwaves & RF

I am Executive Editor of Microwaves & RF, an all-digital publication that broadly covers all aspects of wireless communications. More particularly, we're keeping a close eye on technologies in the consumer-oriented 5G, 6G, IoT, M2M, and V2X markets, in which much of the wireless market's growth will occur in this decade and beyond. I work with a great team of editors to provide engineers, developers, and technical managers with interesting and useful articles and videos on a regular basis. Check out our free newsletters to see the latest content.

You can send press releases for new products for possible coverage on the website. I am also interested in receiving contributed articles for publishing on our website. Use our contributor's packet, in which you'll find an article template and lots more useful information on how to properly prepare content for us, and send to me along with a signed release form. 

About me:

In his long career in the B2B electronics-industry media, David Maliniak has held editorial roles as both generalist and specialist. As Components Editor and, later, as Editor in Chief of EE Product News, David gained breadth of experience in covering the industry at large. In serving as EDA/Test and Measurement Technology Editor at Electronic Design, he developed deep insight into those complex areas of technology. Most recently, David worked in technical marketing communications at Teledyne LeCroy, leaving to rejoin the EOEM B2B publishing world in January 2020. David earned a B.A. in journalism at New York University.

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