CES 2014: CSR unveils Bluetooth Smart jewellery

Wearable tech has largely been about utilitarian smart watches and activity monitors. CSR demonstrates a stylish application using low-power Bluetooth technology.
Written by Charles McLellan, Senior Editor on

Wearable technology is a rapidly emerging mega-trend for 2014, and UK-based wireless company CSR (Cambridge Silicon Radio) is right on trend, unveiling a range of Bluetooth Smart jewellery at CES 2014 in Las Vegas today.

CSR's Bluetooth Smart jewellery adds a stylish element to wearable technology. Image: CSR

Designed with input from Cambridge-based 'boutique' jeweller Cellini, CSR's techno-pendants are prototypes intended to demonstrate how the company's CSR1012 Bluetooth Smart platform can be used. The CSR1012 is a tiny PCB-based platform that uses an on-chip switched mode power supply operating between 1.8V and 4.3V, which allows it to be powered by compact lithium-polymer batteries.

Here, the Bluetooth Smart pendant is flashing blue to alert the iPhone user to an incoming call. Image: Charles McLellan/ZDNet

The item pictured above can alert users to notifications on their smartphone — for example, flashing blue when an audio call or text message is received. Support for the Apple Notification Center Service (ANCS) makes CSR1012-based wearables particularly suitable for use with the iPhone, but the company is also working on Android support. At a pre-CES preview in London, an Android app that allows users to set the colour and flashing patterns of the jewellery was demonstrated:

This prototype Android app allows you to customise the colour of the notification light — for example to coordinate with the user's clothing. Image: Charles McLellan/ZDNet

Developers wishing to explore Bluetooth Smart products can use CSR's recently released $99 Starter Development Kit, which comprises a hardware development board, a CSR1010 module, a mini-USB cable, plus setup and quick-start guides. Application development is via the CSR µEnergy Software Development Kit.

CSR's Bluetooth Smart Starter Development Kit costs $99. Image: Charles McLellan/ZDNet
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