UK based semiconductor company Dialog is the chip provider for the sold out Pokemon Go Plus.
Nintendo is busy preparing another shipment of Pokemon Go Plus, scheduled to arrive end of October. The $34.99 Pokemon Go Plus turned out to be useful companion for trainers. When the Bluetooth bracelet is connected to your phone, distance for buddy walking and egg hatching are tracked. This works also while the smartphone is in locked mode. This is the most important feature of the Pokemon Go Plus, besides getting notified of PokeStops and Pokemon.
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London based Dialog Semiconductor plc has announced to supply Nintendo with a single chip solution powering the Pokemon Go Plus. Dialog is a fat growing European semiconductor company with about $1.35 billion in annual revenues (2015). Dialog’s SmartBond DA14580 Bluetooth low energy System–on-Chip (SoC) with its embedded ARM Cortex M0 processor has been spotted already in a Pokemon Go Plus teardown.
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The complete functionality of Pokemon Go Plus was realized using Dialog’s single-chip solution requiring only a crystal, minimal passive components, a vibration motor, an LED and button.
“The Pokémon Company and Nintendo’s use of the DA14580 is a further endorsement of the success of our SmartBond family,” said Jalal Bagherli, CEO Dialog Semiconductor. “The low power operation along with the small size and low number of external components was critical to Nintendo’s selection process enabling the device to be powered from a standard coin cell battery without compromising on valuable game time,” added Bagherli.
Some Pokemon fans have considered to hack the Pokemon Go Plus and build a one themselves. This is theoretically possible. The Dialog SmartBond DA14580 chip is sold as transceiver module for Arduino boards on eBay for $6.60.
For most Pokemon Go trainers the ability to keep tracking distance in lock mode is the most important feature. The Pokemon Go Plus is somehow pinging the Pokemon Go app to keep on tracking. There is no sensor or pedometer in the Pokemon Go Plus. That distance tracking ping might be doable hack and could be made into a DIY hardware kit that costs less than a Pokemon Go Plus.
A developer on Hackaday already got a working Pokemon Go Plus clone and has been able to connect to the app, but there is no functionality yet. So far there is no working hardware emulator for Pokemon Go Plus.
Nintendo announced to have new Pokemon Go Plus stock in late October again. Specifically Nintendo states now October 31 as delivery date for order on its online store in Europe.
To get a Pokemon Go Plus end of this month you can try your chances in our new Pokemon Go Plus Giveaway.
eBay and Amazon marketplace offers for the Pokemon Go Plus are around $100. At these premiums it is worthwhile to wait for the next shipments of Pokemon Go Plus from Nintendo.
The Pokemon Go Plus wearable notifies trainers about encounters of Pokemon and PokeStops. You can leave your smartphone in locked mode in your pocket and the Pokemon Go app still tracks distance for egg hatching and your Buddy Pokemon. This feature has not been pre announced and was a big surprise. The accuracy of distance tracking with the Pokemon Go Plus appears to be more accurate. Some owners even report about getting more distance credited for the same routes than with just the app. There is a theory that the Pokemon Go Plus has a built-in pedometer. This has not been confirmed yet.
The Pokemon Go Plus device turned out more useful than believed. When connected, the Pokemon Go app continues to track distance even when the smartphone is in locked mode. This saves considerable battery life. Pokemon Go Plus uses flashing colors and vibrations to notify you about PokeStops and encounters of wild Pokemon.
Pokemon Go Plus works with the latest Pokemon Go app updates 0.37.1 (Android) and 1.7.1 (iOS). Raiding PokeStop is extremely convenient with the Go Plus. After getting notified of the presence of a PokeStop, you just press the button and you collect all items. This works also great for lucky trainers that work or live next to a PokeStop. They can just every 5 minutes.
The Pokemon Go Plus wristband is also notifying you when there is a wild Pokemon. You can try to catch it by pushing the button to throw a ball. This is though less of a powerful feature. There is no guarantee that you catch the Pokemon. On top of that you do not know which Pokemon it is. You need to pull out your smartphone to check. If it is a rare Pokemon, you then can decide to use a more powerful ball.
If you catch a Pokemon with the Pokemon Go Plus you receive XP, stardust and candy as you would catch with the app.
The Pokemon Go Plus is compatible with iPhone 5, 5c, 5s, SE, 6, 6s, 6 Plus, 6s Plus, iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus devices with iOS 8 or later installed.
The Pokemon Go accessory is compatible with Android devices that have 2GB RAM or more with Android Ver. 4.4–6.0 installed. Bluetooth Smart (Bluetooth Ver. 4.0 or higher) is required to use Pokemon Go Plus on Android.
Niantic updated the Pokemon Go app to versions 0.37.1 (Android) and 1.7.1 (iOS) to support the Pokemon Go Plus device. Niantic will release smartwatch apps for Pokemon Go later this year for Apple Watch and Android Wear smartwatches. On the Pokemon Go Apple Watch app you see the wild Pokemon on your wrist. What is strangely missing is the option to catch the Pokemon from your smartwatch. This is possible on the Pokemon Go Plus and there is no reason why that would not be enabled on the smartwatch.
There is hope that Niantic will change its mind about this. The full capabilities of the Pokemon Go Plus have been not known until after the release.
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