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eDice, an innovative accessory for your tablet!

March 2014, Dog Back Design Solutions presents a Bluetooth electronic dice at the ESEF in Utrecht. This dice is a redesigned version of the dice presented in 2012.

The eDice is built around a CortexM0 processor with integrated Bluetooth 4.0 radio. A MEMS accelerometer is used to determine the movement of the eDice and its orientation after a throw. All this in a package 97% smaller compared to the dice presented in 2012. The eDice measures only 20*20*20 mm! The eDice can communicate with your tablet to interactively play those good old board games in a modern way. The app on the tablet is developed in close co-operation with the company Loop4Ever from Emmen, The Netherlands. The game Yahtzee is used to demonstrate the eDice, showing multiple Bluetooth 4.0 sensors communicate simultaneously and seamlessly with a host device.

 

 

Electronics

The electronic design, including simulation, measurements, PCB layout and antenna-solution is done in-house. The eDice is powered by a rechargeable Li-Ion coin-cell measuring only 0.62 cm3. In the current eDice you can find two 15*15 mm PCB’s containing all the parts like the accelerometer, antenna, balun, power management, LEDs and MCU including Bluetooth 4.0 radio. To keep the PCB surface to a minimum, a power management IC is used which combines a VLDO and battery manager in one package. A micro-usb connector can be used to charge and program the eDice. By doing so, the firmware can be updated for development purposes without disassembling the eDice.

Mechanics

The mechanics are designed in-house. By using our 3D modelling software in combination with 3D STEP-files generated with our electronic design software, a seamless integration between PCBA and housing is achieved. The final mechanical design of the eDice is 3D printed and later painted with lacquer and finally coated with a two component varnish.

Software

The software development can be divided into two disciplines, namely an embedded part and an ‘app’ on a tablet. The embedded software takes care of the orientation detection. Using a smart, interrupt based architecture, power consumption has been reduced to a minimum. The eDice can be switch on by slowly turning it in a specific direction. This method prevents false power-ups due to, for instance, transportation. Yahtzee on a tablet is used to demonstrate multiple Bluetooth 4.0 devices communicating simultaneously. The app receives data about shake events and the roll values from the eDice. For demo purposes the iOS platform is used, however also Bluetooth Smart supported Android devices can operate with the eDice.

 

 

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