Reference design suits social distance monitoring

2nd September 2021
Mick Elliott

In stock at distributor Anglia Components is an STMicroelectronics’ compact and cost-effective reference design.

It is suited for monitoring social distancing, assuring remote operation, provisioning, as well as warning, anti-tampering, and potentially providing contact tracing to protect human health in all environments, including in response to global or local pandemic conditions.

Leveraging Bluetooth Low Energy technology through its incorporation of STMicroelectronics ultra-low-power BlueNRG-2 System-on-Chip with tuneable RF output power, the BlueNRG-Tile reference design measures the signal strength of nearby Bluetooth non-connecting beacons and, in real-time, calculates proximity to these sources.

The circuit can be provisioned and then operate, issuing warnings when another beacon intrudes on an adjustable perimeter or when tampered with – even when not connected to a smartphone or 5G network.

The base reference design can be supplemented with STMicroelectronics S2-LP sub-GHz ultra-low-power RF transceiver to add bi-directional tag-to-cloud communication through the Sigfox “0G” Global Network, allowing private and anonymous tag provisioning, notifications, and an advisory return-channel for emergency warnings.

To assure power economy and extend battery lifetime, the ultra-low power components are further enhanced with a MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) accelerometer that power cycles the unit when stationary.

Optionally, internal or external memory can be added to provide long-term storage of nearby beacons, allowing contact tracing.

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