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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
  • Embedded C/C++
Solution

Smart jewelry bracelet

Industry Consumer Electronics
Engagement Model

T&M (time and materials)

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

Case Highlights

Softeq helped the client to implement a smart solution, developing firmware and apps for Android and iOS devices.

  • Real-time notifications, distress messaging, a pedometer, and detailed activity tracking
  • Sends a distress signal to a pre-approved list of contacts, along with optional geolocation and sound recording of surroundings
  • Leverages security capabilities implemented within the BLE technology

Problem

The customer turned to Softeq to create firmware for the smart bracelet and pair the device to a smartphone. The bracelet needed to allow women to monitor their physical activity and notify a pre-approved list of contacts in an emergency.

Solution

Application Functionality

The bracelet is complete with real-time notifications, distress messaging, a pedometer, and detailed activity tracking. 

The safety function can send a distress signal to a pre-approved list of contacts, along with optional geolocation and sound recording of surroundings. It is possible to manage a list of pre-approved contacts, vibration patterns, touch patterns, types of notifications, and more on the Socialite app.

Firmware

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

Security

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

Challenges

Improvements

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

  • Enabling emergency messages

We used a VoIP service to enable emergency messaging, as iOS doesn’t allow direct access to a user’s contact list.

  • Improving schematics

Originally, the bracelet hardware had some issues, which limited functionality and made mass production impossible. Softeq improved the schematics to support all project requirements for the mass market.

  • Adapting to unstable BLE functionality

Softeq adapted the solution for unstable BLE on Android (OS v4.2, 5.1).

  • Improving the pedometer

We improved the accuracy of the pedometer algorithm.

  • Improving distress activating algorithm

We reduced false responses to the distress activating algorithm, when tapping the bracelet, and added the bracelet training.

  • Ensuring firmware update

As the hardware and firmware didn’t support the firmware update, we enabled the simultaneous update of the mobile app and firmware.

Results

Project Outcomes

The resulting solution demonstrated smart capabilities, transmitting BLE through metal five times further than conventional Bluetooth. Further plans included integrating the smart solution with Google Fit and Apple Health Kit to enable users to track their health and fitness data aggregated from multiple apps.