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Firmware and Mobile Apps for a Connected Bracelet

A BLE-enabled wearable accessory with smart capabilities

  • Java (Android)
  • Objective-C (iOS)
  • BLE
Solution

Smart jewelry bracelet

Industry Consumer Electronics
Engagement Model

T&M (time and materials)

Methodology Waterfall
Team
  • Firmware Engineers
  • Mobile Developers
  • UI/UX Designers
  • QA Engineers
  • Project Manager
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Customer

Problem

WiseWear Corporation, a manufacturer of luxury wearable health and fitness devices, turned to Softeq to create firmware for a smart bracelet and pair the device to a smartphone. Using the accessory, women can monitor their physical activity and notify relatives or the police in case of an emergency.

Solution

The firmware establishes a secure two-way connection between a smartphone and the bracelet via BLE while keeping power consumption to a minimum. This allows the bracelet to:

  • Receive real-time notifications about incoming phone calls, text messages, and emails; the alert notifications make the gadget gently vibrate
  • Monitor user activity: steps, calories burned, distance traveled, time active/inactive, etc.
  • Send a distress signal to a pre-approved list of contacts, along with optional geolocation tracking and sound recording

 To enable the desired functionality, our team had to solve several technology challenges:

  • iOS does not allow direct access to a user’s contact list. To enable emergency messaging, we used the VoIP service
  • To make the bracelet’s battery last for five days without charging, we enabled the deep-sleep mode interrupted by external hardware calls sent by the BLE module
  • When disconnected for three days or longer, the wearable device gets automatically unpaired from a smartphone and can be connected to a new device. To implement the feature, we had to modify the bracelet’s hardware chip.

Challenges

Security

The solution leverages the security capabilities implemented within the BLE technology — BLE gatt. It allows establishing exclusive connections, meaning that a BLE peripheral can only be connected to one central device (a mobile phone, etc.) at a time.

Optimizing the device power consumption

To allow the device to be capable of processing data for 5 days without recharging, the team implemented the deep-sleep mode interrupted by external hardware calls sent by the BLE module.

Unpairing from a smartphone

If the phone has been lost leaving the wearable jewelry disconnected for 3 days, the accessory automatically gets unpaired from the missing phone to allow pairing with a new smartphone.

Results

The resulting solution demonstrates smart capabilities, transmitting BLE through metal 5 times further than conventional Bluetooth. The collaboration continues, with Softeq being engaged in integration of the smart solution with Google Fit and Apple Health Kit that will enable users to track their health and fitness data aggregated from multiple apps.