Smart Bluetooth navigation remote control for connected TVs

January 11, 2012 // By Paul Buckley
Nordic Semiconductor ASA has chosen CES to demonstrate the company's upcoming nRFready μBlue Smart Remote reference design -— claimed to be the world's first Bluetooth low energy/Smart advanced navigation remote for connected TVs and set-top boxes. Based on Nordic's market leading μBlue nRF8001, the reference design has been developed to take remote controls for connected TVs to the next level by delivering advanced navigation features such as multi-touch and motion control, plus QWERTY keyboard, while offering up to one year of battery life and compatibility with any Bluetooth Smart Ready TV.

Unlike other RF technologies relevant to remote controls — such as ZigBee RF4CE and proprietary 2.4 GHz RF - Bluetooth low energy enables connected TV manufacturers to use a single Wi-Fi / Bluetooth v4.0 combo IC for all connectivity in the box instead of having to add a dedicated radio to handle the remote. This provides significant cost savings and better co-existence performance.

The nRFready µ Blue Smart Remote will be provided as a simple upgrade to Nordic's existing (proprietary) 2.4 GHz RF Smart Remote. The reference design features a multi-touch enabled TouchPad from Synaptics, a miniaturized QWERTY keyboard, a six-axis motion sensing solution from Invensense, and a ultra-low power accelerometer from ST Microelectronics. Based on the new HID profile for Bluetooth low energy, the remote will provide seamless interoperability with a range of Bluetooth v4.0-enabled (or Bluetooth Smart Ready) host platforms including TVs, set-top boxes, smartphones, and computers.     

The nRFready μBlue Smart Remote will be made generally available from Q1 2012.      

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