Bluetooth Low Energy, also known as Bluetooth Smart, has a wealth of potential uses in healthcare and lifestyle applications. (Image courtesy of Bluetooth.)
Even though the market for wireless sensors enabled with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) is rapidly growing, a number of challenges and issues remain in their implementation. To address some of those challenges, the BLIM4SME project has been initiated by RivieraWaves and the Centre Suisse d' Electronique et de Microtechnique (CSEM). The goal of this project is to develop an ultra-low-power BLE module targeting healthcare and lifestyle applications.
BLIM4SME will work to develop an optimized solution for industries that require highly integrated and ultra-low-power BLE radios that are beyond the current “state of the art.” Specifically, RF IP blocks will be developed and then embedded into a single “antenna-and-radio” miniaturized module. The resulting solution will leverage an integrated-passive-device (IPD) technology platform.
This solution will satisfy next-generation bio-medical, healthcare, sports, and fitness products. Applications for radio links in the healthcare and lifestyle markets have specific requirements including: standardized connectivity for plug-and-play interconnection with other devices; ultra-portability with tiny modules for maximal comfort for the wearer; ultra-low power consumption for long autonomy; and flexibility so that they can be easily embedded with other components.
The project is funded by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Program, which supports research and technological development. Experts in the BLE protocol, IPD technology and modules, and low-power integrated radios will work together toward a solution. The research team comprises representative small and medium-sized enterprises including Prisma Electronics and Nordic Components. RTD Talos Ltd., RivieraWaves, CSEM, and the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland also will participate.