CSR at Telematics Detroit 2014 – Driving aptX adoption in the car

Following on from our recent announcements that JVCKENWOOD and Alps Electric are bolstering their automotive infotainment systems and connectivity modules with aptX® integration, we have also ventured into a third partnership which will see Clarion implement aptX into its latest in-vehicle infotainment products.

aptX is set to do for in-vehicle Bluetooth® what it achieved in the consumer space, becoming a standard means of delivering Bluetooth stereo audio from a smartphone to a head unit. With the decline of the in-vehicle CD we are seeing the increasing importance of Bluetooth for stereo audio streaming in the car, with consumers using internet radio and other music streaming services or locally stored content from their smartphone.

There is a growing trend for automotive OEMs and tier 1 car manufacturers to support CD-like audio over Bluetooth to deliver as immersive an in-car experience as possible. Riding on the successful market penetration aptX is achieving (it is now integrated in the majority of today’s smartphones), the push among OEMs to incorporate the technology in-vehicle is steadily growing.

Next to the home, the car is the place where people spend the most time listening to music. As the home and business environments march towards the reality of wireless connectivity, car drivers and passengers are expecting the same functionality and wireless freedom they enjoy in other areas of their lives. It is important for automotive suppliers to take the audio quality of Bluetooth streaming as seriously as they do the quality of the CD/AM/FM radio, especially since the vehicle has a costly high performance stereo system in the first place. Degraded audio over Bluetooth cannot be repaired when it arrives into the car stereo, so aptX integration becomes an especially significant consideration for Tier 1 manufacturers who invest highly in ensuring their car speakers deliver outstanding audio quality.

Bluetooth is becoming more and more important to deliver in-vehicle audio and many designers are struggling with the challenge of offering the best possible audio experience with Bluetooth A2DP. Since there the majority of smartphones now ship with aptX now is the time for in-vehicle designers to adopt aptX to improve the performance of Bluetooth stereo for their next generation systems.

CSR is offering aptX support in all of its latest connectivity devices including the CSR8350™ and CSRC9300™, to support the expansion of the aptX ecosystem in the vehicle. The BlueCore5™ MM chip is another example of a fully AEC-Q100 device which can support aptX streaming in the cars of the future.

CSR will be demoing its aptX solutions next month at Telematics Detroit 2014 – feel free to visit CSR at booth 77.

Posted in Applications and Markets, Automotive Infotainment, Connectivity, Corporate, Technology, Voice & Music | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

DirectOffice Mobile SDK sample app now on Google Play store

Mobile apps are transforming the enterprise by streamlining existing business processes and creating new ways to work. With DirectOffice Mobile SDK, developers can easily add native, high-fidelity viewing and printing of Microsoft Office and PDF documents to their apps. 

Enterprise applications are migrating from desktops PCs to mobile devices. Within these enterprise apps, users expect documents to display and print with PC-like fidelity in a secure and streamlined mobile workflow.  

DirectOffice Mobile SDK is a native software library that runs securely in an app’s private sandbox.  It allows developers to fully integrate office document viewing in their app with no need to hand off documents to another app or upload documents to the cloud for processing. See DirectOffice’s PC-like fidelity for yourself with the DirectOffice Mobile SDK sample app on Google Play:

google play

 

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Building Apps on Your Hardware: CSR training helps developers hit the ground running

Over the course of May and June, the Bluetooth SIG will be hosting hundreds of engineers from across EMEA, US and Asia to provide in-depth training on how to implement Bluetooth hardware and software for those who are new to the technology. The Bluetooth Innovation Series will take place on the following dates:

 

 

As a co-sponsor of the event, CSR will be providing each attendee with a µEnergy® Starter Development Kit, a complete set of tools for developers looking to kick-start their product development cycle.

To help prepare attendees for hitting the ground running with their new dev kit, CSR will be providing a training session at each event from 11:15-12:10, titled ‘Building Apps on your Hardware’. In this session attendees will be given an overview of custom profiles, tips on how to build an app, and advice on how to go about debugging an app if it throws up unexpected problems.

From opening the dev kit, to installing software and downloading the VM app, this session will cover everything you need to know about the differing Bluetooth profiles and the variety of use cases. It will be invaluable for anyone who’s interested in developing Bluetooth-enabled devices, including anything from heart rate monitors to security tags.

Click here to view the agenda and register today.

If you’re unable to join the training session please get in touch with bluetoothsmart@csr.com with any questions or check out our Forum and Wiki.

CSR Bluetooth Smart Starter Development Kit

CSR Bluetooth Smart Starter Development Kit

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CSR Bluetooth® Low Energy Starter Development Kit aces UBM Tech’s 2014 ACE Awards

April 1st certainly didn’t label us fools this year; in fact we were named winners instead! On Tuesday evening during EE Live!, CSR was announced winner in the EE Times and EDN 2014 UBM Tech ACE Awards in the ‘Ultimate Products – Development Kits’ category for our low-cost µEnergy® Starter Development Kit. The ACE Awards celebrate the highest achievements in innovation and creativity in electronics design. I attended the awards ceremony and was proud to represent CSR as we were honoured along with the best and brightest people and companies behind the technologies and products that are changing the world of electronics.

01-20_01_24-01-IMG_0053 01-20_01_48-01-IMG_0055

We’re really proud of this achievement because it champions our ongoing commitment to giving developers high quality tools which offer a low barrier to entry to create fully-featured Bluetooth® Smart products. In a market where wearable, human interface, fitness, medical and IoT devices are quickly gaining more prominence, we’re glad that the judging panel recognised the efforts we have gone to to give developers access to highly optimised hardware and software solutions at a cost-effective price, so that they can easily bring their innovative ideas for Bluetooth low energy products to market quickly.

If you are interested in ordering our award-winning Bluetooth Smart SDK it is available globally via Digikey, Broadband and local CSR authorised distributors for $99.

If you’ve got any questions or would like to find out more check out our wiki and developer forum.

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

Webinar: Bluetooth® Smart example applications

Are you a developer with a great idea for an innovative Bluetooth® Smart product? Whether you are looking to develop a next generation wearable gadget or a novel twist on a low energy keyboard or remote, CSR is here to help guide you through the process.

In this webinar, we will present an overview of example applications that are included with the µEnergy® SDK and walk through customisation of these applications for final product use cases and hardware.

Agenda

SDK Example Applications Overview: Example Alert Tag and Security Tag amongst others

​Customisation Areas including:

Presentation

  • Appearance
  • Device Name

Power Consumption

  • Advertisements
  • Preferred Connection Parameters
  • Sleep modes

Functionality and Hardware

  • PIO Configuration
  • Peripherals

Presenter: Dmitry Shipilov, Senior Applications Engineer and chef extraordinaire at CSR

Register Now: Join us on Mar 25, 2014 at 4:00 PM GMT

If you’re unable to join the webinar please get in touch with bluetoothsmart@csr.com with any questions or check out our Forum and Wiki.

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

Continental awards CSR for “zero defects” quality

Continental quality awardGil MacInnes, VP Quality, CSR reports on Continental’s recent quality award for CSR’s outstanding performance…

Automotive electronic systems OEMs such as Continental, one of our biggest customers, are extremely demanding when it comes to quality control. So CSR puts its Automotive Infotainment products through additional exhaustive testing before production release to customers.

Automotive customers demand that each and every product functions properly over the entire operational temperature range. They also put in place special project milestones (“quality gates”) to check this whenever they commence a production run and sample over time.

Every device that fails this testing phase is returned to CSR under RMA (“return merchandise authorisation”) for analysis of the root cause of failure and determination of corrective actions. So CSR doesn’t want any failures…

As testament to CSR’s total quality systems, the company recently received a “Best Supplier 2013 Award” from Continental’s Tianjin factory in China, the biggest Continental site we supply. So a big “well done” to the team in Cambridge and San Jose for ensuring the high quality of product and service.

CSR ships multiple Bluetooth® products – and the 3eLPa, a SiRFstar GPS product – to Continental’s Tianjin factory; in 2013 we shipped 1.4 million parts to them with zero failures in their line and at their end-customer.

Continental Automotive Systems (Tianjin) Co., Ltd., incorporated in January, 2007, is a wholly foreign invested enterprise affiliate to the Automotive Systems Division of Continental AG, German. It is located in Central Industrial Zone of Tianjin Economic & Technological Development Area (TEDA), and has around 560 employees. The company is mainly engaged in the production of automotive electronic products such as electronic control system, sensor system, body electronic products and intelligent on-board communications system and serves for auto makers and their suppliers and customers in the world, including many famous auto makers in North America, Europe, and Asia markets.

 

 

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DirectOffice® – test chart showcases output quality

CSR’s DirectOffice® enables high-quality direct printing of Microsoft Office documents without a PC, Microsoft Office or even a print driver. DirectOffice is the only solution of its kind that can closely match the output of Microsoft Office.

To showcase the superior output fidelity of DirectOffice, CSR has created a test chart that exercises many different fonts and Microsoft Office elements on a single complex page.

The output from this test chart shows how well DirectOffice stacks up against Microsoft Office:

[click image below to enlarge]

MS_DO_files_2014_small

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We encourage customers to download the original Microsoft Word (.docx) version of the test chart and try it on any other Microsoft Office rendering solution.

And we’d love to hear about your results: please e-mail CSR’s Philip Mazzilli or simply comment below.

Thank you.

 

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Bluetooth® Smart comes of age for Internet of Things applications

At Embedded World this week we are excited to launch our new Bluetooth® Smart solution, CSR Mesh. By allowing for an unlimited number of Bluetooth Smart enabled devices to be simply networked together and controlled directly from a single smartphone, tablet or PC, CSR Mesh is opening up a new era of possibilities when it comes to the Internet of Things. We think it’s a real game changer for the market and will make Bluetooth Smart the technology of choice for smart home applications.

Unlike other home automation connectivity solutions available, CSR Mesh allows consumers to directly control devices and collect sensor data from a mobile device anywhere in the home. CSR Mesh uses a light weight protocol that minimises the power consumption in each device within the mesh. CSR Mesh is easy to set up, and devices can be configured from a smartphone or tablet to be controlled in groups. Switches and displays can also be added as standalone devices, just attached to the wall with no wiring. The CSR Mesh solution runs on CSR Bluetooth Low Energy single mode devices, and is built above and compatible with the Bluetooth 4.1 specification.

CSR is supporting a number of lead customers with the CSR Mesh technology and will be launching a development kit to a wider audience in the coming months. We’re looking forward to seeing how this solution kick starts the smart home market. But, it’s not just transforming homes. In the CSR Mesh video, the team gives us their take on what the possibilities hold for the technology and how it will enable the future of the Internet of Things.

We’ll be showing our CSR Mesh lighting demo at Embedded World in Nüremberg Germany from 25 – 27 February, where we will also be showcasing how CSR’s Bluetooth Smart Starter Dev Kit can help you create fully-featured Bluetooth Smart devices, such as heart rate monitors or cycle speed devices. Come and see us at Hall 4A, stand 4A-519. We look forward to seeing you there.

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Five Steps to Get Your Bluetooth® Smart Product to Market

Now that our low-cost Starter Development Kit is now available globally via Broadband, BCD MicroelectronicsDigikey and local CSR distributors, developers all over the world are able to begin designing new fully-featured Bluetooth® Smart products that take the technology in exciting new directions. Whether these are used for known applications such as wearable heart rate sensors, or for entirely unheard of ones, CSR is dedicated to easing developers’ efforts in bringing these ideas to market as simply as possible. The Bluetooth Smart development process can be daunting for those just starting out, which is why I have put together some pointers to help get developers new to Bluetooth, started.

CSR Bluetooth Smart Starter Development Kit

CSR Bluetooth Smart Starter Development Kit

And don’t forget, to be in with a chance of winning a Nike+ Fuelband, enter our SDK competition by sending us your creative unboxing videos and pics! Find out more details in our Calling all Bluetooth Smart developers – Get #unboxing blog post.

For more detailed support, don’t hesitate to check our newly launched wiki or send us questions via our new developer forum.

1. Design Prototype Hardware

 

2. Develop Prototype Software

  • Application and software development is enabled by the CSR µEnergy®  Software Development Kit (SDK), included within the Starter Devolpment Kit. The integrated development environment is built upon xIDE, and so has a similar look and feel to the SDKs and ADKs that are offered for many other CSR Bluetooth devices
  • In order to use Bluetooth Low Energy technology, a device must be compatible with the GATT Bluetooth profile and define a set of appropriate services
  • The SDK includes example applications for popular Bluetooth Smart profiles that can be run on the target board such as heart rate sensors, alert tags, mice and keyboards, cadence sensors and many more. The next step is to create the Target Software based on a CSR example application for a chosen profile or define your own services for a custom profile
  • Either extend an example application with functionality needed for specific product or define a new application, typically starting from one of the example apps
  • Create smartphone app based on CSR µEnergy app framework. Example CSR apps for Android can be downloaded from Google Play and they include CSR Android Heart Rate App, CSR Android Cycle Speed App and the CSR Running Speed App. Developers can also download the CSR iOS app from the Apple App Store which includes example code for Blood Pressure Meters, Glucose Meters and Health Thermometers

 

3. Build Pre-Production Hardware

  • Combine Reference Module design with application-specific hardware in pre-production PCB
    • Based on CSR Reference Module manufacturing pack
  • Manufacture pre-production PCBs

 

4. Integrate and test hardware and software

  • Build a production test environment based on CSR Production Test Tools
    • Programme unique Bluetooth address
    • Trim the XTAL
    • Load target application to non-volatile memory
    • Test the Bluetooth radio functionality using direct test
  • Test overall product functionality

 

5. Move to Mass Production

  • Obtain regulatory approval dependent on region and product type
    • Simplify CE and FCC approvals by using CSR pre-qualified radio design from Reference Module
  • List End Product on Bluetooth website
    • Simplify SIG listing by association with CSR QD ID (B017702) for reference module
  • Publish smartphone app to Android and iOS markets
  • Ramp volume production
  • Implement marketing and sales activities

 

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An introduction to Antennas and Propagation: Part Five

In the penultimate installment of his 6-part series of technical articles about radio transmission, CSR’s RF consultant Les Smith continues his expert coverage on the subject of antenna types…

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