Gunshot Detection System Uses Bluetooth to Notify First Responders When Bullet-Proof Vest is Pierced

Nordic Semiconductor has announced that DataSoft Corporation, a Tempe, AZ-based low power wireless solutions company, has employed Nordic’s Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) nRF52832 SoC in its ‘Automatic Injury Detection’ (AID) solution. The solution consists of a wireless sensor integrated into ‘man-down’ vest for law enforcement and military applications.

According to DataSoft, AID is the world’s first wearable gunshot detection system. The AID panel features a thin film sensor with an encased conductive ink trace inside the body armor that detects any piercing event to the wearer’s front or back, such as the impact of a bullet, knife, or shrapnel.

In the event the wearer suffers an impact, the vest automatically connects to a paired device - typically the user’s Bluetooth 4.0 (and later) smartphone or radio to send out an emergency notification. The smartphone sends out an emergency alert to nominated first responders and/or agency backup units via SMS, or directly to an Internet location such as the dispatcher’s console. Emergency notifications include the user’s name and accurate personal medical information, the linked device’s GPS location, and where on the vest the impact occurred, allowing medical responders to assess the urgency and seriousness of the potential injury. AID can also automatically and instantly initiate one call to a selected phone number via DataSoft’s companion app on the user’s smartphone, as well as activate a wireless body camera to record the incident.

The AID solution uses Bluetooth LE wireless connectivity provided by the Nordic SoC, with a range of almost 70 meters. The long-range connectivity is due in part to the nRF52832 SoC’s high link budget 2.4 GHz radio that offers a maximum transmit (TX) output of +4 dBm and a maximum receive (RX) sensitivity of -96 dBm. 

The sensor employs a 300mAh Li-Poly battery, allowing the device to operate for up to two years on a single charge, thanks in part to the ultra-low power consumption of the Nordic SoC. The nRF52832 has been engineered to minimize power consumption with features such as the 2.4GHz radio’s 5.5mA peak RX/TX currents and a fully-automatic power management system. The AID sensor can be recharged via an integrated micro-USB port.

The nRF52832 SoC is a powerful, highly flexible ultra-low power multiprotocol SoC that supports Bluetooth low energy, ANT and 2.4 GHz applications. It is built around a 32-bit ARM Cortex-M4F CPU with 512 kB + 64 kB RAM. This SoC requires a supply between 1.7 V - 3.6 V and has a comprehensive system of automated and adaptive power management features. This chip has a NFC-A tag interface, simplifying the process of authenticated pairing between two Bluetooth devices by exchanging authentication information over an NFC link. It is available in 6 x 6 mm 48-pin QFN package and 3.0 x 3.2 mm ultra-compact wafer-level chip-scale package (WL-CSP). The nRF52832 supports the S132 SoftDevice, a Bluetooth 5 pre-qualified protocol stack. It is ideal for IoT, A4WP wireless chargers, beacons and personal area networks applications. For more information, click here.