October 7th, 2020

New Movesense Firmware 2.0 Boosts Wearables Development

Movesense is an open platform for wearables development

Movesense is an open sensor platform for wearables development. The sensor measures ECG, heart rate, temperature and movement with a 9-axis IMU. We are now releasing the firmware version 2.0 that boosts the development even further.

The upgrade is a complete new framework for developing Movesense sensor apps. It adds great new features, improves the overall quality of the code, and makes programming for Movesense sensor smoother than ever before.

Data rate increases with Bluetooth 5

The biggest benefit of the 2.0 for end users is the support for Bluetooth 5. In practice, the release comes with the Nordic Semiconductor nRF SoftDevice v6.1.1. This doubles the data transfer speed from 1Mbps to 2Mbps and enables raw data streaming at higher sampling rates.

For instance, recording of synchronized IMU data from several sensors now works with faster sampling. This allows for an accurate study of rapid movements such as vibration of equipment and machinery.

Better wearables development

The new firmware makes developing your own wearable solutions smoother than ever before. A big benefit that it brings to developers is the docker based build system for firmware compilations. The new system includes all needed tools in one installation. It makes sure that your development environment is always up to date with right settings. It works equally well in Windows, OSX and Linux.

The 2.0 comes with a new much improved bootloader. Firmware update speed jumps from 1-2kB/s to 10 kB/s, cutting the firmware update time from 2-3 minutes to less than 30 seconds. The new bootloader indicates data transfer by blinking the sensor led and times out automatically after 2 minutes if there is no connection. This prevents the sensor from getting stuck in the firmware update mode.

Another big boost is the DataLogger/Logbook storage control. The new version saves code space, allows flexible use of storage formats and arrays, and now supports also ECG logging.

Movesense BLE service modules are also getting highly useful updates. CustomGattService now supports full 128bit uuid’s. Standard HR Service and Nordic UART Service modules get a new simple API. In advertising mode, the heart rate service ID is automatically added to your advertising packet. Practical!

There’s also a new sample app to demonstrate how to use custom GATT services with the Movesense sensor. With the sample app, it’s easy to read the sensor data with other devices than a smart phone. For instance, the app includes a browser based client that can be used on your desktop.

Updated Documentation

In addition to the highlights listed above, there are plenty of other improvements, new features and naturally a bunch of bug fixes. Get familiar with the new firmware version and start experimenting by first reading the updated documentation. We strongly encourage developers to utilize the benefits that the version 2.0 offers!

As always, we are also welcoming feedback, improvement ideas, pull requests and other contribution through the usual channels via Stackoverflow and Bitbucket.

If you want to start your own wearables development project, get a Movesense developer kit right away and go ahead!

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