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Nordic Semiconductor’s Thingy:53 – An AIoT funhouse for proof-of-concept smart home designs!

Having previously covered the Thingy:91 at Hardware Pioneers Max, and with a series of videos likely on the way now that Eamon has his own Thingy:52, bought for his own amusement, we at ipXchange thought we’d write a short piece on the in-between model from Nordic’s line of fun, easy-to-use IoT development platforms. Enter the Thingy:53!

As with all Thingies, the Thingy:53 is a pocket-sized box containing a wealth of environmental and motion sensors, RGB LEDs, a rechargeable LiPo battery so you can deploy the device during development, and Bluetooth LE and NFC support, with Over-the-Air (OTA) firmware updates possible via Bluetooth and an online or mobile app. There is also provisioning for users to add their own peripherals to the Thingy:53 to support their application – via an external Stemma/Qwiic/Groove-compatible connector, rather than through-holes on the board like with the Thingy:52 – but we feel that this is not the main point to make about this Thingy.

The heart of the Thingy:53 is Nordic’s nRF5340 Bluetooth SoC, which features a powerful Cortex-M33 application core running at 128 MHz and a secondary ultra-low-power Cortex-M33 network core running at 64 MHz. What this means is that the Thingy:53 is more than capable of performing machine learning (ML) tasks with minimal power consumption, making it a perfect platform for designing smart-home devices that can understand trends in the sensor data – rather than simply gathering it – and perform actions within a home based on what that sensor data is telling it. And yes, there is a built-in PDM microphone, so Thingy:53 can be trained to understand voice commands too – All sensor data and AI functionality is easily managed and viewed using the nRF Edge Impulse app.

We’ve not even mentioned that the Thingy:53 supports Bluetooth mesh, Thread, Zigbee, Matter, and proprietary 2.4 GHz connectivity, so go learn more about the current range of Nordic Thingies on the board page by following the link below.

If you’ve got a commercial application where you would like to put Nordic’s connectivity and MCU solutions to use, fill out the form, and ipXchange will do our best to get you connected for consultation and evaluation.

Keep designing!

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