CSR Lights Up Las Vegas Nightlife with 1,000 CSRmesh™ Connected Glow Sticks

Although the conversations about Bluetooth® Smart at CES 2015 earlier this month centered around the connected home, the possibilities it provides go far beyond it. CSRmesh™ enables a single mobile device to control a nearly unlimited number of Bluetooth Smart enabled devices that are networked together.

At our Connected World exhibit at CES 2015, we demonstrated the role that CSRmesh™ will play in the Internet of Things experience of the future. But we wanted to go outside the home to ambitiously illustrate its potential, so CSR collaborated with our partner Incipio to create a truly unique and memorable experience for its CES party at Life nightclub in Las Vegas.

We created 1,000 CSRmesh™ connected glow sticks to hand out to the event’s attendees. Inside of each glow stick was a simple LED light connected to a CSR1012™ chip.

With a custom app, the DJ was given the power to control every attendee’s glow stick to, for example, change the colors on-the-fly or display patterns in rhythm to the music. Because CSRmesh™ enables any device to relay a message to any other, the DJ’s messages were instantly spread across the entire colossal venue without worrying about range restrictions. As long as one glow stick was in range of another, the information was communicated.

In the Internet of Things, lighting, music and mobile devices can now interact in new and innovative ways to enhance the entertainment experience. CSRmesh™ makes it all possible.

Watch the video below to see CSRmesh™ light up the party.

Posted in Applications and Markets, Bluetooth Smart, Connectivity, Corporate, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

CSRmesh™ combines with Android Wear to allow whole home voice control

Among the exciting demonstrations currently running at CES in Las Vegas is CSR’s Connected World, a glimpse at the future of the Internet of Everything.

Here, we’ve created a totally connected CSRmesh™ enabled home – including home automation, audio, a connected car and location and asset tracking. In fact, even the giant illuminated ‘CSR’ sign behind the reception desk is CSRmesh-enabled.

Throughout the home we are showcasing our one-stop chip-to-cloud solutions for audio and home entertainment, the connected car, connected wearables, and health & fitness. As technologies converge, no other company is as well placed as CSR to help consumers manage the emerging challenges – including interoperability, low power, interference, latency and security.

In particular we’re happy to be showcasing a new addition to the protocol – the integration of Android Wear for whole home voice control. CSRmesh has proven to be popular for lighting applications via Bluetooth Smart, and with the increasing popularity of wearable technology, this new feature will allow consumers to control devices with voice commands.

To see CSRmesh and Android in action, a video demo can be viewed here.

If you’re in Las Vegas this week then please stop by the 8th Floor of the SpringHill Suites Las Vegas Convention Center. Here you can visit our Innovation Lab, a great place to get ‘hands on’ with fifteen technical demos and to meet some of the pioneers and innovators behind our products.

Posted in Corporate | Leave a comment

State Of Play Report – The world of home audio through the eyes of the consumer

CSR commissioned a survey to understand the attitudes, habits and trends set to influence the design of home audio system in the coming years.

Audio buyers are becoming increasingly selective about what they want from their audio equipment but are manufacturers delivering on the needs of the market today and the wants of the future?Audio_4

The State Of Play Report reveals how people like to listen to music, how they would like their listening experiences to be improved, and the audio attributes they are willing to spend money on – both now and in the future.

Some key findings include:

– 77% of people yearn for better sound quality at home

– 59% want home audio technology to be interoperable with their favorite brands and devices

– 76% say ease of use is highly critical when choosing a new audio system

To find out more, please fill out the form below to download the report.

State Of Play Report

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Posted in Applications and Markets, Connectivity, Corporate, Technology, Voice & Music | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Bluetooth 4.2 is here – but what does it mean?

Over the past year CSR has implemented all of the important enhancements introduced in the Bluetooth 4.1 specification in its connectivity platforms, from single mode low energy and wireless audio platforms through to discrete connectivity products. This has allowed developers to employ the latest Bluetooth capabilities in their devices and expand their offerings to new markets.

Today, CSR has qualified a product compliant to version 4.2, which was officially adopted by the Bluetooth SIG last week. The update adds some significant improvements that further secure Bluetooth Smart’s position as a key enabling technology for the Internet of Things. But what are these updates?

Screen-Shot-2014-12-03-at-10.21.43-AM

Version 4.2 introduces three major updates to the specification: Low Energy data packet length extensions, Low Energy privacy upgrades and Low Energy secure connections. Let’s take a brief look at each one:

Low Energy data packet length extensions: The length of data packets transferred over Bluetooth Smart has been increased from 27 bytes to 251 bytes, which translates into maximum data rates of over 800kb/s. This allows for both the master and slave to negotiate the maximum length of packets to transmit and receive.

A larger data rate transfer means one thing – speedier downloads that are up to 2.6 times faster than previous Bluetooth versions. This is massively important for those developers looking to create devices that might require downloading large amounts of data – for example, regular firmware updates or downloading large data logs from sensors. Also, increased data transfer speeds and packet size reduce the opportunity for transmission errors to occur and lessen battery consumption, resulting in a much more efficient connection.

Low Energy privacy upgrades: For Bluetooth Smart settings to be truly private, address resolution of private devices had to be done in the host CPU. Now, address resolution is moved from the host CPU to the controller, which reduces power consumption on private devices. Bluetooth Smart chips will now only ‘wake up’ when someone designated as trusted is within a user’s proximity, which has the added bonus of lowering power consumption on the host CPU. So, to take a retail store using beacons as a real life example, unless a consumer has enabled permission for the beacon to engage with their device, they can no longer be tracked.

Low Energy secure connections:  Last year’s 4.1 update introduced AES encryption to deliver more secure BR/EDR connections. The 4.2 update now completes the security upgrades by adding full public key cryptography for authentication in LE using FIPS compliant algorithms, essentially updating the authentication mechanisms to the same standard as Bluetooth Classic. With this feature, dual mode devices only need to pair once and have the same fully secure connection regardless of which mode was used to authenticate.

Today, the Bluetooth SIG will make its qualification site live – please refer to this to find out which CSR products are 4.2 qualified – but you can expect to see all CSR dual mode platforms make their way onto the list.

For any questions relating to CSR’s Bluetooth Smart products, please contact bluetoothsmart@csr.com or leave a comment below.

Posted in Applications and Markets, Bluetooth Smart, Connectivity, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

CSR SiRFusion™ webinar will reveal how to solve the indoor location challenge

Indoor location is a hot topic, carrying the promise of ubiquitous location and user context. Set to take social networking, analytics, content targeting and enterprise efficiency applications to a new level, the technology hails from a high pedestal.

SiRFusion™ from CSR is a new, innovative and technically disruptive solution, combining multiple sources of information including real-time Wi-Fi® signals, satellite positioning information and pedestrian dead reckoning to create high quality and accurate indoor positioning. It’s significant because it’s able to utilise these technologies and give incredibly accurate positioning performance without the need for expensive new infrastructure or site surveys.

In collaboration with GPS World magazine, myself and other experts from CSR’s SiRFusion team will be hosting a webinar on Thursday December 4th. If you are developer looking to integrate indoor positioning into an app or you would like to learn how this innovative technology can create new revenue streams for you through accurate understanding of your customers’ location indoors, please register and attend by following this link.

Register Now: Join us on December 4th at 10.00am PST / 1.00pm EST / 6.00pm GMT

In the meantime if you’re interested in finding out more about SiRFusion visit http://www.csr.com/products/technology/sirfusion

And if you’re unable to join the webinar please get in touch with sirfusion@csr.com with any questions.

Webinar topics will include:

  • Commercial applications for indoor location
  • SiRFusion – solving the indoor challenge via fusion of multiple technologies, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth® Smart, GNSS & MEMS
  • Challenges and solutions for Pedestrian Dead Reckoning & Bluetooth Smart beaconing
  • SiRFusion performance results in real world situations

 

Presenters:

  • Dave Huntingford, Director of Product Management for Location, CSR
  • Dimitri Rubin, Sr. Director of Emerging Technologies, CSR
  • Nicolas Graube, Fellow, Advanced Algorithms, CSR

 

 

Posted in Applications and Markets, Bluetooth Smart, Connectivity, Indoor Location, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Keep track of your personal belongings with PebbleBee Bluetooth® Smart Tag

PebbleBee is a Bluetooth®-enabled tracking tag that uses the single-chip CSR1010™ to help its customers never lose their personal belongings again. Its Kickstarter campaign struck up over 3,000 backers contributing over $200,000 – ten times the original target – to help make the vision a reality. Founder and CEO David Daoura spoke to CSR to give his insight on how Bluetooth Smart is helping bring the PebbleBee to market.

What is it about the PebbleBee device that is so exciting?

People don’t want to lose things. On average you spend ten minutes a day looking for things you’ve misplaced, or 20 minutes for me! That’s lost time you’ll never get back. By placing a PebbleBee on your treasured items, you can quickly locate them and never lose anything. That’s the basic feature of the device.

Furthermore, by using the CSR1010 we can provide extra functionality for people such as remotely taking selfies with your phone, setting range alerts, keeping track of your items’ location history on Google maps, and much more. All that in an affordable, sleek and small functional device.

IMG_5035

When developing the PebbleBee what were the top things you wanted to achieve?

Firstly we wanted to create a quality, compact product with a sleek design that is durable. The main purpose of the device is for loss prevention and lost item recovery, meaning it needed multiple embedded sensors for monitoring the environment at an extended range. It also needed to have a replaceable battery with a long life.

Why did you choose to work with CSR?

We chose to work with CSR for a number of reasons including that the CSR1010 is the most widely used Bluetooth chip. CSR also has very responsive customer support and competitive pricing. We are also interested in the cutting edge technology produced by the CSR team, for example CSRmesh networking.

How do you think the market for smart trackers and sensors will evolve over the next five years?

It really depends on the battery and Bluetooth chip technology. Power management is what it all boils down to. The more power you can harness or conserve for a small device, the more user friendly it is. This translates to more people adopting and using this Internet of Sensors market. We aren’t just a manufacturer of tracker devices, we mainly focus on sensors. People want to know how active their pets are while they’re at work or who ripped that pillow apart at 3:00am. With sensors all of that information is available to you from the comfort of your mobile phone or tablet.

In the next five to seven years from now, I think the smart tracker market will be as big, if not bigger than the cell phone market is today. The devices will be so small that you can stick them on paper and won’t know the difference. High value assets in mail, items, toys and even merchandise and clothing will all have some sort of tracking device on them. Retailers will use them as they do today with RFID, but with Bluetooth Smart instead. The key is improved battery technology that is smaller, more efficient, and thin as a film and Bluetooth Smart chips and sensors that hardly consume any energy.

Find out more about CSR Bluetooth Smart products here: http://wwwr.csr.com/products/technology/low-energy

 

Pebblebee founders Nick Pearson-Franks (left) and David Daoura (right)

Pebblebee founders Daniel Daoura (left) and Nick Pearson-Franks (right)

Posted in Applications and Markets, Bluetooth Smart, Connectivity, Technology, Wearables | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Taking automotive positioning to the next level

We’ve demoed a lot of new and improved solutions at Telematics Munich 2014 – the connected car just gets more intricate and exciting with each event. For me however, the most exciting of CSR’s announcements has been the latest software releases for our SiRFstarV™ 5ea auto-grade quad-GNSS location platform. We are now offering concurrent use of GPS and BeiDou (BDS) satellite constellations as well as major updates to the our SiRFDRive® software dead reckoning (DR) algorithms (you can read the press release for more details here).

Many Tier 1 suppliers and OEMs are frustrated with the overall positioning performance and associated route guidance in challenging environments such as Chicago and Tokyo. In particular, they struggle with corner cases where inaccurate positioning leads the navigation application to believe the vehicle is on the wrong street or at the wrong place on the right street.

This can result in incorrect guidance which will persist until the system recovers and gets an accurate position.  In the case of telematics systems supporting emergency responses and stolen vehicle tracking services, providing accurate positioning at all times and in all environments is critical for effective service delivery.

Another benefit is that because GNSS and DR integrate with the navigation applications and thereby simplifying map matching, the overall solution is far more accurate. It reduces the efforts for such integration activities (and associated costs), and it also shortens the time to market of the navigation and telematics systems.

The two key ingredients in making the improvements are:

1) Concurrent multi-constellation support using GPS + GLONASS provides access to more satellites, increasing availability and the accuracy of the GNSS solution and;

2) The improved DR algorithms include elements such as better calibration of the MEMS sensors and vehicle inputs, as well as more intelligent use of the MEMS sensor and GNSS satellites in the GNSS + DR Kalman Filters

CSR is keeping a keen eye on the development of MEMS sensors since we are seeing an explosive increase in demand primarily from smartphone and tablet applications. MEMS sensor performance improvements along with decreasing cost for the sensors themselves will provide opportunities for continued SiRFDRive performance improvements.

At Telematics Munich we presented the capabilities of SiRFDRive on SiRFstarV 5ea using a video of Chicago illustrating the challenges for a GNSS system alone in providing accurate positioning in an urban canyon environment. The video, which you can view below, contrasts this to the benefits of adding the MEMS sensor inputs to the GNSS measurements in SiRFDRive.

If you are interested in a real life demo please don’t hesitate to get in touch by emailing auto.gnss@csr.com

 

 

Posted in Automotive Infotainment, Indoor Location, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Internet of Things enabler CSRmesh™ named CES Innovation Awards Honoree

I’m pleased to announce that CSR has been named a 2015 CES Innovation Awards Honoree in recognition of our CSRmesh™ protocol.  Products entered in this prestigious program are judged by a panel of independent industriaInnovHon2015l designers, engineers and members of the trade media to honor outstanding design and engineering in cutting edge consumer electronics products. We believe CSRmesh will truly revolutionise development of not just consumer smart home products, but also smart buildings in general – even hotels and warehouses.

CSRmesh allows any device to send messages into a mesh network that other devices can receive. These devices need not be adjacent; instead, devices relay messages to increase coverage. Information in messages can action other related events: walk up to your front door and touch the handle to unlock it; the lights and heating turn on, the security system disables and the radio tunes into the channel you’ve just been listening to in the car. Allowing everything to be linked – but without requiring any central management or box – means that the occupier can build their smart home one device at a time. Each new device acquired makes their home smarte.

Our main objective with CSRmesh is to facilitate smart home automation without the hassles of existing systems: no vendor lock-in, no single point of failure, easy control from devices people already own and whole-building coverage. The innovation is in leveraging the ubiquity of Bluetooth – in phones, tablets and laptops – to control and monitor other devices. Using CSRmesh, we can exchange messages within a single room, or across a whole building. You can find out more about it here, as well as details of our CSRmesh Development Kit here.

Products chosen as CES Innovation Honorees reflect innovative design and engineering in some of the most cutting edge tech products and services coming to market. It’s clear that the panel value the benefits and unique features that CSRmesh can bring to the IoT – the creation of an industry-wide ecosystem of interoperable devices that can work together to make our lives easier.

CSRmesh will be displayed at CES from January 6-9, 2015 in Las Vegas. If you’re interested in a demo drop us an email at bluetoothsmart@csr.com

Posted in Bluetooth Smart, Connectivity, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Meeting the UK’s big appetite for truly wearable technology

Sales of wearable devices in the UK is on the rise, according to a new survey from consumer insights research company GfK. Ownership of wearable tech amongst Brits has shot up with a total of 420,000 units bought since January 2014, reaching a combined value of £51 million.

The research, undertaken to investigate the main selling points for wearable tech, suggests that the crossover between technology and fashion in wearables is likely to increase. 73% of those surveyed said that they would consider wearing clothing or jewellery items with integrated trackers.

Earlier this year we conducted our own survey of consumers’ views on wearable technology and our results pointed to a similar trend. The research found that 72% of Brits agree that it’s important that wearable technology devices look good and 67% think that it’s important that their wearables fit with their personal style.

However, GfK has found that companies are not yet meeting these expectations. The report states for example that there is a widespread perception that smartwatches are regarded as “gadgets for geeks” and haven’t yet achieved mainstream appeal desired by manufacturers. This should mean that we can expect new and exciting designs ahead, prompting even more growth for the industry.

In order to prove that a device can balance being both fashionable and functional, we at CSR decided to develop a range of connected jewellery ourselves.

Bluetooth® Smart Jewellery

Bluetooth® Smart Jewellery

Designed in conjunction with boutique jeweller Cellini, the pendant-style connected necklaces contained CSR’s innovative Bluetooth® Smart solution – the CSR1012™. The integrated electronics enabled the wearer to customise the colour and brightness of the integrated LED to suit their mood or to coordinate with a particular outfit.

What is also clear from this report is that the challenges faced by manufacturers extend beyond just looks. Those surveyed by GfK ranked battery life, comfort and functionality as almost equal to or more important as the device’s design. What CSR’s connected pendant proves is that manufacturers can achieve great aesthetics as well as battery life, small form factor and fast connectivity.

If you are interested in learning more about the CSR1012, visit our product page where you can purchase a CSR µEnergy Development Kit.

Posted in Corporate | Leave a comment

CSR’s DDFA amplifier gives Bluesound Powernode star power

What Hi-Fi? magazine recently awarded the Bluesound Powernode a fantastic five stars in this review. From my perspective this is fantastic as the audio performance level achieved by the Powernode is substantially provided by CSR’s DDFA amplifier technology. The reviewer concludes that “the Powernode is one of the most musical systems we’ve heard of this ilk, presenting itself in a very likeable manner indeed” – it’s certainly a glowing endorsement of our DDFA technology.

DDFA stands for ‘Direct Digital Feedback Amplifier’ and products using this technology invariably achieve outstanding audio performance levels; often compared favourably with the best linear amplifiers. We achieve that performance with our unique patented feedback architecture which compensates for any errors introduced by the amplifier power stage or power supply – no other digital amplifier technology can do this.

Sound quality is just one leading feature provided by DDFA. The DDFA architecture is Class D and so achieves a very high efficiency – over 90% – meaning a smaller power supply can be used, there’s far less heat dissipation and so the product form factor can be smaller and more elegant.

DDFA input is digital, meaning it can readily accept digital audio sources without the need for data conversion; this ensures a simpler solution  and maintains the performance level at its best.

In the case of the Powernode, a significant feature comes from DDFA digital input ability to support High Resolution Audio (HRA) – up to 32 bits and with a sample rate up to 192kHz – the Powernode rating of 24bit/96kHz is very attractive to audio aficionados. This requirement for HRA is definitely one that we are going to see more of in the future and not only in this type of higher end product.

You can pick up more on this point by reading What Hi-Fi competitive review of multi-room audio where the Bluesound product comes out on top. High-res is the leading feature which, along with the quality hi-fi sound, gives the product the winning edge.

To find out more about DDFA, visit our product page. Or watch the below video in which I give an overview of the features and benefits of DDFA.

Posted in Technology, Voice & Music | Leave a comment