Compact Reference Design For Social-Distancing and Contact Tracing

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  • STMicroelectronics’ new wearable solution assists in maintaining social distancing norms during pandemic conditions
  • Leverages BLE technology along with enhanced MEMS sensors for enabling low power consumption

STMicroelectronics, has launched a compact and cost-effective reference design ideally 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 with the help of ST’s ultra-low-power BlueNRG-2 System-on-Chip with tunable RF output power, the BlueNRG-Tile reference design measures the signal strength of nearby Bluetooth non-connecting beacons and calculates the proximity to these sources in real-time. The circuit can issue warnings when another beacon intrudes an adjustable perimeter or when tampered with – even when not connected to a smartphone or 5G network.

The reference design can be supplemented with ST’s 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.

Effective low-power operation

To ensure better power management and extended battery lifetime, the ultra-low-power components are further enhanced with a MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) accelerometer that powers the unit when it isn’t moving. Optionally, internal or external memory could provide long-term storage of nearby beacons, allowing contact tracing.

“Developing this highly-efficient and cost-effective social distancing reference design has significant value in any environment where people need to work safely,” said Benedetto Vigna, President Analog, MEMS and Sensors Group, STMicroelectronics. “This compact design can be used for a wide range of applications, including as bracelets and bands or as plugins or add-ons to eyeglasses, helmets, and masks and shields.”

This compact, ultra-low-power tag provides a range of capabilities, for location-monitoring and contact-tracing.

The Social Distancing reference design is now available through local ST sales offices.


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