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  • BLE
  • C++
  • Microsoft Azure

Customer

Footmarks, a US-based software development company focused on building enterprise proximity-based data management and marketing solutions.

Problem

The client’s proprietary beacon-powered solution required a firmware upgrade so that the software could run on a more advanced hardware platform and tap the capabilities of the new BLE 5.0 version.

Softeq boasts ample experience in developing proximity solutions. The company’s firmware development expertise spun out into a dedicated competency during Softeq’s ODC-based collaboration with SanDisk.

Solution

The beacon-enabled platform is an end-to-end proximity solution, which provides real-time analytics on the user behavior, patterns, and needs.

The solution caters to several environments. In retail and advertising, it delivers personalized consumer experience with contextual push notifications. In workplace environment — protects intellectual property by monitoring assets usage and user behavior. For venues — fosters tighter engagement of the audience through personalization, gamification, and interactivity, among others.

FIRMWARE

Softeq's team upgraded the previous version of the iBeacon firmware (running on Nordic nRF51 SoC and supporting BLE 4.2) so that it could run on a new platform (Nordic nRF52 supporting BLE 5.0), which has more advanced capabilities. nRF52 is designed to be power-efficient. Its individual peripherals and clocks are flexible in minimizing the power consumption when task operation is not required.

Optimized for iBeacons with Limited Features

Softeq’s engineers adapted the firmware to beacons with a limited range of features, which have a smaller flash memory and thus are more cost-efficient.

The firmware optimizes the beacon internal operation, which helps extend the battery lifetime. The team measured the device real-time power consumption and identified the redundant processes using Nordic’s Power Profiler Kit. This tool is specifically designed to allow accurate current consumption measurements for the entire range typically seen in embedded applications based on nRF devices.

Provisioning App

To support internal beacon parameters customization during the device manufacturing, Softeq’s team developed a provisioning app. It allows to set up individual parameters for the entire lot of the produced devices.

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