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Bluetooth Low Energy products for makers, professional developers and your next BLE product.
Bluetooth Low Energy products for makers, professional developers and your next BLE product.
Bluetooth Low Energy products for makers, professional developers and your next BLE product.
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540 backers pledged $35,174 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Bluetooth 5 Ready: BLE Module, Nano 2 & Blend 2

$35,174

540

New Demo: 32 Concurrent Bluetooth LE Connections

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For the first time, we manage to connect to 32 BLE Peripheral devices simultaneously with one BLE Central device. This demonstrate the power of our nRF52 series and Apache Mynewt OS.

BLE 4.2 direct connections, not with mesh networking

- Nano 2 running Mynewt OS as BLE Central
- 8 x Nano v2 running Mynewt OS as BLE Peripheral (Blue LED)
- 24 x Nano v1.5 running Mynewt OS as BLE Peripheral (Yellow LED)

Our partner Runtime prepared this amazing demo for us, a big thanks to them! We will publish the source code and technical details soon after the campaign.

Stretch Goal

We plan to bring more features to our nRF52 series if we could raise more funding for development.

$50k - Arduino support for BLE Peripheral bonding and secure data exchange

We will implement working example of the BLE stack's Security Manager as part of our Arduino library for nRF52. We will provide sample code to enable secure data exchange and BLE Peripheral bonding; only the "bonded" BLE Central device could connect to that particular board after bonding.

RedBear BLE nRF52 Series

Bluetooth 5 Ready

Announced in June 2016, the new Bluetooth 5 specification promises significantly increased speed and broadcast messaging capacity over current Bluetooth 4.2.

However most existing BLE development boards are not upgradable to support these.

All our products are armed with Nordic’s next generation nRF52832 Bluetooth Low Energy System-on-Chip, it is Bluetooth 5 ready

The nRF52832 BLE SoC combines its ARM processor with a 2.4GHz multiprotocol radio featuring -96 dB RX sensitivity, 512 kB Flash memory, 64 kB RAM and NFC-A tag for “Touch-to-Pair” capability. You can read all nRF52832 advanced features on Nordic's website.

BLE Module

At the heart of all the new products is our new BLE Module model# MB-N2. It houses the Nordic nRF52832, an on-board antenna and other components special tuning for great performance and low power consumption.

The module provides all GPIO pins and supports all advance features offer by Nordic nRF52832.

With your support, we will get our module certified for CE, FCC and Bluetooth. If you use this module for your own products, not only you have the assurance, you will also save some cost on your own product certifications.

Datasheet for module MB-N2 will be available in December 2016.

Nano 2

We launched our first BLE Nano in 2014 and it is our most popular product. We design Nano 2 as a ‘drop-in’ replacement, with exactly the same form factor, and in most instances no need to change firmware code. In addition, the new development board also offers a U.FL connector for an external NFC antenna, while users will benefit from the extra processing power and hardware resources of the nRF52832 SoC.

 

 

DAPLink board

This board has an ARM Cortex-M3 MCU and is used to program and debug an application running on Nano 2 via SWD. DAPLink is an open source project by ARM mbed team, more about DAPLink.

Proto Board

We design this new Proto Board for you to get started easily. You can power your Nano via coin cell battery, rechargeable battery or USB. The top part could be removed if you don't need it. It has 3 connectors for Seeed's Grove modules (more details below). Last but not least, we have reserved a place for the Apple MFi authentication coprocessor; you can develop BLE HomeKit product if you have the MFi license. 

Blend 2

Our Blend is very popular as it is a "full-size" Arduino compatible board which supports most shields. It has on board a Cortex-M3 MCU that supports DAPLink, slot for Apple MFi coprocessor and two Grove connectors.

You should choose Blend 2 if you want to test all GPIOs and functions available on the Nordic nRF52832. 

 

 

Programming Options

Nordic nRF5 SDK

If you want to unleash the full power of nRF52832, you should use Nordic SDK to develop your application. 

Our boards and module support the latest Nordic nRF5 SDK. It comes with support for Keil μVision IDE, GCC make files, and IAR. All code examples included in the SDK works with our boards.

Arduino

Arduino is very popular among makers, this is the best option if you just get started with MCU or embedded programming.

We developed an open source Arduino library for nRF51822 for our existing Nano board. We will provide a new open source library for nRF52832; you can program this powerful chip and BLE functions using the Arduino IDE.

mbed

Our boards can run firmware developed for nRF52-DK using the ARM mbed Online Compiler. We also support their DAPLink - Nano 2 with DAPLink board and Blend 2 will appear on host PC as a USB mass storage device, program files in binary (.bin) and hex (.hex) formats can be copied onto the USB disk which then programs them into the memory of the target board.

JavaScript

There are existing efforts to port Espruino, a JavaScript run-time for MCU, to nRF52832, we will get involved and ensure our boards are fully compatible with the open source version for nRF52.

Python

Our partner, Zerynth, will provide a free version of their Zerynth Studio for our backers, you will be able to program for free up to 5 Blend 2 and up to 5 Nano 2 with this free version, more details below.

Apache Mynewt

Our boards can run the open source Apache Mynewt OS, incubating in the Apache Software Foundation, which includes its own BLE stack that can support 10+ simultaneous BLE connections and other flexible configurations. In addition to the real-time kernel, the OS comes with various utilities such as secure bootloader, flash file system, time-series data, log and stats modules and more, enabling a prototype device to be production ready.

Advanced Features

HomeKit

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For developers with Apple MFi license, Nordic nRF5 SDK for HomeKit supports HomeKit Accessory Protocol (HAP) over BLE.

Secure Over-the-Air Updates

Nordic SDK supports secure and signed over-the-air device firmware updates (OTA-DFU) which use secure signatures to authenticate that only updates coming from a verified and trusted source can be made on a given device.

NFC

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The Nordic SDK also provides example applications that demonstrate the use of the nRF52 NFC tag module. 

*HomeKit and NFC are only supported by developing using Nordic's SDK.

Grove Starter Kit

Our team has picked 9 commonly used Grove modules and bundle them as a starter kit. We will provide code examples for these modules.

Partners

Evothings

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Evothings Studio is a mobile app development tool tailored for IoT, making it easy and efficient to develop mobile apps for IoT devices. Evothings comes with a number of example applications to be used as starting points for developers’ app projects. Two example applications for RedBear are included in Evothings Studio making it easy to get started with apps using BLE.

RFsister

RFsister is a well-established RF professional services company. They provide antenna design service, wireless module and RF performance testing service. 

Runtime

Runtime provides support for Apache Mynewt, a community-driven and permissively-licensed OS for constrained, connected IoT devices. Apache Mynewt is a full-featured, easily composed OS that includes the world’s first open source, controller-level BLE stack. This open source approach allows for greater flexibility in configuration (e.g., number of concurrent connections; reduced image sizes) and improved performance.

They have successfully connected 32 BLE Peripheral devices with our Nano 2 running as BLE Central using the Apache Mynewt OS.

Watch the demo video at top of this page!

Zerynth

Zerynth allows programming in Python language for creating scalable IoT solutions with reduced time and less code. Their stack includes: 

• Zerynth Virtual Machine: A multithreaded real-time OS that requires a footprint of just 60k-80k of flash and 3-5k RAM.

• Zerynth Studio: an open-source IDE for developing your Python or C/Python code and managing your boards.

• Zerynth Connector: A device manager compatible with many cloud providers exposing a simple API interface.

• Zerynth App: An interface that turns any mobile into the controller and display for IoT smart objects.

Backers will be able to program Blend 2 and Nano 2 maximum 5 each for free, find out more here.

Rewards

We group the boards and accessories into five packages.

You can pick among the 5 packages below, you can also pick a particular package more than once. You will inform us about your choice in a survey e-form we sent our after Kickstarter campaign.

Example:
For $25, you pack either A, B, C, D or E.
For $48, you can pack two. You can choose two package A if you like.

If you want extra accessory, simple add the additional cost to your total pledge amount:
DAPLink - add $6 each
Proto Board - add $4 each
NFC antenna - add $2 each

About RedBear

We have two successful Kickstarter projects so far.

Dec 2015 RedBear Duo: A small and powerful Wi-Fi + BLE IoT board

1,756 backers pledged to help our first campaign.

May 2016 IoT HAT for Raspberry Pi: A must-have for Pi Zero

2,274 backers pledged in our second campaign.

We have over twenty resellers worldwide including Adafruit, Arduino, MakerShed, MCM, Micro Center, Seeed, SparkFun and Switch Science.

Special Thanks

Photography & videography: MWH Studio - Manuel Wong Ho

Background music: http://www.bensound.com

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Apple and HomeKit are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

Any other trademarks or trade names mentioned are the property of their respective owners.

 

Risks and challenges

The Bluetooth 5 is still under development, we cannot guarantee that our products can support all features in the final specification. Please find Nordic official announcement at https://devzone.nordicsemi.com/blogs/789/nrf52-series-is-ready-for-the-next-generation-of-b/.

RedBear has been working in the DIY space since 2012 and we have released over ten IoT products to date, including two successful Kickstarter campaigns, so we have experienced a good share of risks and challenges in the past.

For this campaign, we have completed the development and ready for pre-production. When manufacturing, there are always concerns around the production and logistic time frame. However, we have the experience to minimize any controllable hiccups and deal with uncontrollable circumstances. We will use our expertise to deliver the nRF52 series ASAP in excellent condition.

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Funding period

- (30 days)