Nordic nRF8002-powered Bluetooth Low Energy Proximity Key Fob is First in World to be Compatible with Both Apple and Samsung Smartphones

Sep 20, 2012
Oslo, Norway - 2012/09/20 - 

Ultra low power (ULP) RF specialist Nordic Semiconductor ASA (OSE: NOD) today announces that Seoul-headquartered Semilink – a provider of application specific standard products (ASSP), System-on-Chip (SoC) customized modules, design services, and component distribution - has announced a Bluetooth® low energy proximity key fob based on Nordic’s µBlue™ nRF8002 System-on-Chip (SoC) that features built-in Personal User Interface Device (PUID) profiles.


Called the “Pebble”, the key fob offers two functions that build on the two profiles defined in the latestBluetooth v4.0 Specification applicable to proximity-based property location and security (see “AboutBluetooth profiles” below). The Proximity profile ensure that when the key fob moves out of range of the smartphone or tablet computer the user is alerted by an audible alarm eliminating the risk of leaving valuable devices behind. Alternatively, the user is warned by the key fob if an unauthorized person moves the valuable portable device out of range. The Find Me profile enables a misplaced key fob to be located by triggering an alarm from a dedicated application (‘app’) on the portable device. This is useful if the key fob is attached to a set of keys or other valuable possession.


Pebble features an ultra slim design measuring just 60 by 30 by 11mm and weighing in at less than 12g. Powered by a regular 3V CR2025 lithium coin cell, the nRF8002’s class-leading ultra low power consumption extends battery life to over a year under typical (daily) usage conditions (see “About nRF8002” below). The device’s range is typically around 10 meters but can extend up to 20 meters.


Bluetooth low energy is a hallmark feature of the latest Bluetooth v4.0 specification and if certain qualification requirements are met the technology can be used to develop Bluetooth Smart devices (such as wireless sensors, peripherals, and accessories) that are compatible with any Bluetooth Smart Ready hub product (for example, a smartphone or tablet computer). (See “About Bluetooth low energy, BluetoothSmart, and Bluetooth Smart Ready” below.) The Pebble carries the Bluetooth Smart brand mark.


“The Pebble is the first key fob proximity device in the world to be compatible with Apple iPhone® 4S and Samsung Galaxy S3 and R style smartphones – flagship products from the two leading smartphone makers in the world - as well as the Apple iPad®,” says Simon Lee, Semilink’s CEO.

"Other companies have introduced similar products but Semilink’s proximity key fob is notable because of its ‘out-of-the-box’ compatibility with devices from the leading two smartphone makers," says Geir Langeland, Nordic Semiconductor's Director of Sales & Marketing. “Nordic was a member of the group that developed the Bluetooth low energy element of the Bluetooth v4.0 specification and realized very early, along with the Bluetooth Special Interest Group [SIG], that proximity alarm-type applications would be a popular initial application for the technology. The nRF8002 is the number one choice for this type of task because it was specifically designed for the job."

Bluetooth low energy has been designed from the outset to extend Bluetooth wireless connectivity to compact, coin cell-powered devices such as proximity fobs. Nordic has been at the forefront of the group that defined the Bluetooth low energy specification since becoming a foundation member of Nokia’s Wibree Alliance in 2006 (the Alliance became part of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) in June 2007). Nordic contributed decades of expertise – gained in producing successive generations of class-leading proprietary and interoperable (ANT/ANT+) ULP wireless connectivity solutions within a field that it pioneered.

About Nordic

Nordic Semiconductor is a global leader within ultra-low power (watch battery) wireless technology, a field it pioneered. Today the company is also an associate member of the Bluetooth SIG and member of the SIG’s Board of Directors. Nordic contributed decades of core expertise in ultra-low power wireless to the development of Bluetooth low energy wireless technology – the hallmark feature of the latest Bluetooth v4.0.

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Written By: Michael Venezia
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