Adafruit Teases nRF52840-Based Feather Bluefruit Sense Board with Numerous On-Board Sensors

The new CircuitPython board boasts a microphone, accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, humidity, pressure, and even gesture sensor.

A first look at the new board, which is Adafruit’s take on an ‘all-in-one’ BLE device with built-in USB plus battery charging. (📷: Adafruit)

Adafruit has released preliminary details of the Feather Bluefruit Sense, an upcoming Nordic Semiconductor nRF52840-based development board which comes with a range of additional standards — including microphone, accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, and environmental sensors — and native USB support.

Based on the same Nordic SoC as the company's recently-launched ItsyBitsy nRF52840 Express, the CircuitPython-compatible Feather Bluefruit Sense builds on the existing Feather Bluefruit design with one major change: the addition of a range of on-board sensors, designed to make it ready-to-run out of the box for a variety of tasks.

"We removed the SWD connector and also the optional 32 kHz crystal," Adafruit explains of the new design. "In their place we added a PDM mic, LSM6DS33 accel/gyro + LIS3MDL magnetometer, SHT3x humidity sensor, BMP280 or DPS310 barometric pressure sensor, and APDS-9960 colour/light/proximity/gesture sensor. Should a fun little feather board, will pair very nicely with a Adalogger Featherwing for RTC+SD card datalogging."

With the nRF52840 at its heart the Feather Bluefruit Sense should also be capable of running TensorFlow Lite, allowing for at-the-edge artificial intelligence pulling live data from the new on-board sensors.

Adafruit has yet to announce pricing and availability for the Bluefruit Sense, but be sure to follow along with their progress on Twitter!

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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