Microchip Technology Inc has introduced a PIC32 Bluetooth starter kit. The kit includes a board with a PIC32 microcontroller, HCI-based Bluetooth radio, Cree high-output multi-color LED, 3 standard single-color LEDs, an analog 3-axis accelerometer, analog temperature sensor and 5 push buttons for user-defined inputs. In addition the PICkit™ On Board (PKOB) eliminates the need for an external debugger/programmer and supports USB connectivity and GPIOs for rapid development of Bluetooth Serial Port Profile (SPP), USB and general-purpose applications. To support Bluetooth audio the starter kit also includes an interface for a plug-in audio CODEC daughter card set for release at a later stage.
Microchip Bluetooth Starter Kit - [Link]
by Kathy Yang @ elecfreaks.com:
ElecFreaks will launch a multi-axis unmanned helicopter series: ELF. As the name suggests, this series will be surprisingly tiny. Aimed to design a very compact, portable, able to fly in any place multi-axis helicopter, we will use smart phones app (must support Bluetooth 4.0) instead of remote control. Smaller also means more security and therefore would be more suitable for various occasions and people. If you are a child, this helicopter will be like any other toy of yours. Like always, we will open source all the information. If you are an advanced gamer, this helicopter will be perfect for research and development. If you are just a junior gamer who don’t care details that much, it’s totally ok, ELF got novice mode to allow press-one-key takeoff.
Drone ELF First Successful Trial Flight - [Link]
We have already seen a number of ideas for tracking tags seeking funds on Kickstarter, most systems are limited by the range of Bluetooth communication with a smart device. This system from Iotera tackles the problem using cloud-based thinking: The basic wireless system consists of one or more tags or ‘iotas’ and a home base unit. Each 22 x 11 x 3 mm iota contains a chip, accelerometer, temperature sensor, speaker, RF transceiver, Bluetooth (unused so far) and a battery to give up to three months operation. Each iota communicates with the home base unit using wireless channels in the 902 to 928 MHz band giving a range of up to four-miles. Back home, the base unit receives the low-speed transmissions from the iota tag and forwards the information to a server via a Wi-Fi connection.
Novel Cloud-based Tag System - [Link]
MediaTek has announced the MT6795 which the company has targeted at the high-end android 4G smartphones and tablet segment. According to the press release the 8-core processor also supports 2560 x 1600 resolution displays, FDD/TDD LTE technology, 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, FM Radio, 2G and 3G wireless networks. The chip also supports video recording and playback at Ultra HD (4K2K) resolution using the H.265, H.264 and VP9 formats, supporting high-speed 1080p video recording at up to 480 frames per second allowing slow-motion playback on screens with 120 Hz refresh. An integrated 16MP camera image signal processor handles video input and MediaTek’s ClearMotion™ technology eliminates motion jitter to ensure smooth video playback at 60fps.
8-core 64-bit Processor targets Mobile Devices - [Link]
by intensePancake @ instructables.com:
In recent years, portable sensor devices have gained a lot of popularity due to their ability to give you instant, accurate information about your local environment. Some of these devices include the Sensordrone, Smart Citizen, and the Storm Tag. These devices combine portability and accessibility in such a way that they’re easy to use and convenient to carry around. However, they can be expensive, as they’re required to pack quite a bit of advanced technology into a very small package.
This Instructable is for my Bluetooth Low Energy Go-Anywhere Sensor Pack (BLEGASP, if you will). It’s a device that I built from an Arduino and various environment sensors. Since environmental concerns differ from person to person, I wanted to create a device that maximizes sensor modularity.
Bluetooth LE Go-Anywhere Sensor Pack - [Link]
An Arduino, some addressable LED’s, a bluetooth module, code and a 3D printer come together to make blueShift – An OpenXC LED Tachometer. blueShift is so named for the Bluetooth protocol used for data communication, and the use of a tachometer to indicate when to shift your car. It may be amusing to note that the driver and passengers traveling in this car would observe Blueshift when peering thru the windscreen, provided their velocity was sufficient.
blueShift – An OpenXC LED Tachometer - [Link]
By Alasdair Allan:
The Light Blue Bean is a new Arduino compatible board with built-in Bluetooth LE support, and while that isn’t a new idea, the Bean does something different than the other Bluetooth LE enabled Arduino clones I’ve seen so far—it lets you upload your code to the board wirelessly… look ‘ma, no wires!
Hands on with the Light Blue Bean - [Link]
Bluetooth® Low Energy (BLE) may not be part of your electronic designs just yet, but chances are it will be soon. This wireless connectivity technology has experienced explosive growth over the last three years. It now provides low-power connectivity to millions of electronic devices, such as smart watches, fitness trackers, smartphone accessories, and medical monitors. Thanks to upcoming technical enhancements, BLE is poised to become even more pervasive in the next generation of consumer electronics and the emerging Internet of Things.
Many of the enhancements have been incorporated in Bluetooth 4.1, a recent update to the core specification. Among them are support for more efficient bulk data transfers, greater flexibility in communications between devices, simultaneous dual-mode roles, and the first steps toward IP-based communications. Taken together, these technical improvements make BLE even more attractive from power consumption, performance, and cost standpoints.
In addition to the enhancements outlined in Bluetooth 4.1, the BLE chips themselves have been continuously improving. Thanks to efficiency improvements, transmission power consumption in the second generation of BLE will fall by about 66 percent with no loss of range or performance.
Moving Forward With Bluetooth Low Energy - [Link]
Blend Micro is an Arduino development board with built-in Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy (aka BLE or Bluetooth Smart) connectivity targeted at developers using the Arduino platform to design IoT applications. The board uses an Atmel ATmega32u4 micro-controller and the Nordic nRF8001 BLE chip.
The Blend Micro runs in the BLE peripheral role only, allowing BLE central role devices to establish communication.
Blend Bluetooth with an Arduino Platform - [Link]
Smartphone peripheral developers are limited to RF links via Bluetooth, NFC or WiFi when they need to pass data back and forth to the device. This can add significantly to costs and stand-alone peripherals also need batteries or an adapter for power. The Quick-Jack from NXP solves both problems; it turns the standard 3.5 mm stereo audio headphone socket found on most iOS or Android smart devices into a self powered data port and provides an interface for external switches, sensors or any other external equipment.
The Smartphone Quick-Jack Solution comprises a small board, a free example app for popular smartphone OSs, and design documentation.
Smartphone port? Try the Ear Hole - [Link]