Reference design for advanced browsing control of TVs and set-top boxes

January 03, 2013 // By Julien Happich
The nRFready Smart Remote 2 unveiled by Nordic Semiconductor is a complete hardware and software reference design featuring a multi-touch touchpad, 6-axis motion sensing, and full QWERTY keyboard.

The reference design leverages Nordic's latest multi-protocol nRF51822 SoC to offer simultaneous single chip Bluetooth low energy and Nordic 2.4GHz proprietary Gazell RF protocol support, and provides a unique, feature-rich platform for developing remote controls for the latest Internet-enabled and Web 2.0 digital TVs and set-top boxes

Prime application examples include audio, video, gaming, web browsing, social media, and online shopping, where an essential ingredient to the success and adoption of these services by end users is the remote control, which can spell the difference between frustration and a rich, intuitive, and engaging end-user experience.

Designed specifically to deliver the latter, the nRFready Smart Remote 2 features a multi-touch enabled TouchPad from Synaptics, a miniaturized QWERTY keyboard, a 6-axis motion sensing solution from Invensense, and an ultra-low power accelerometer from STMicroelectronics.

The inclusion of Nordic's latest nRF51822 multi-protocol SoC (see 'About nRF51822' below) allows remote control manufacturers to bring products to market that can simultaneously and adaptively support Bluetooth low energy (via the HID over GATT profile) and proprietary 2.4GHz wireless technology in the same product form factor, using identical data formats over the wireless link to minimize design complexity, and without requiring any firmware changes.

This offers developers a high level of commercial protection against future consumer technology trends by allowing them to offer a maximum range of alternative options to their customers. The nRFready Smart Remote 2 reference design even features an IR (Infrared) LED that can be used to add support for legacy IR-controlled equipment too.

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