Espressif brings Bluetooth to home appliances
We work with several home appliance manufacturers to help bring their product innovations to life. For example, one customer wanted to integrate Bluetooth into their future line of handheld appliances to connect them to smartphones via an app they were developing.
The reason many manufacturers want to integrate Bluetooth into their products is primarily for convenience and to improve the user experience for the consumer. Connecting via an app to the smartphone, and thus to the Internet if needed, opens up amazing possibilities in the area of home appliances. These include:
Keeping product firmware up to date
Remote diagnostics and reporting
Alerts when something on the appliance needs to be repaired, serviced or replaced
Remote control of the appliance (if necessary)
The challenge for the customer
The technical challenge in all of these product developments is the usual triumvirate of size, weight and cost - and of course our customer was no exception. However, in the current chip supply chain crisis, we have to add a fourth dimension: component lead times. This is undoubtedly the biggest issue facing our industry right now.
The customer had a number of options for integrating Bluetooth functions, but we recommended a component from Espressif, our trusted supplier - more specifically, the ESP32-C3-Mini-1 module. Espressif's lead times are typically 8-12 weeks, and proved particularly favourable in this difficult market environment. The ESP32-C3-MINI-1 is a universal Wi-Fi and Bluetooth LE module. Compatible with a wide range of peripherals in a very small package, these modules are the ideal choice for smart homes, industrial automation, healthcare, consumer electronics, etc.
The Bluetooth specification is comprehensive: Bluetooth LE, Bluetooth 5, Bluetooth Mesh, up to 2 Mbps and a 40Mhz oscillator to boot. An inconspicuous, but also important factor considering the physical limitations of the design is the integrated PCB antenna. Not only does it save space, cost, and cables to an external antenna (which would be a no-go for most household devices), but it also allows the modules to ship pre-certified for wireless approval - with no significant limitations on functionality. Amazing, considering that this module measures only 13.2 × 16.6 × 2.4 mm.
Other interesting features of the ESP-32 C3 series are 4 MB Flash and a 32-bit RISC-V single-core processor. In addition, there is a rich set of peripherals like UART, I2C, USB, Serial/JTAG controller, temperature sensor and ADC. A temperature range of -40 to 85°C should be enough to satisfy any household application!
Other applications for the ESP-32-C3-Mini
So it's no wonder that this mini marvel is suitable for a whole range of applications.
Smart home - e.g. lighting control, smart button, smart plug, etc.
Healthcare - e.g. monitoring and emergency call
Consumer electronics - e.g. smart wearable devices, audio products
Smart agriculture - e.g., greenhouse, irrigation and robotics
Retail and hospitality - e.g. POS, picking and packing, etc.
General low-power IoT sensors and data loggers.
So if you're looking to make your traditional designs fit for the connected world, contact us! We are not just distributors - we are happy to support you in the development of your projects, both in terms of component procurement and technical design support.