Tag Archives: Bluetooth

Send Touch Over Distance With HEY Bracelet

HEY is an innovative bracelet that really makes you feel connected to a loved one. It uses a unique technology to send your touch as far as needed. It’s the first bracelet that mimics a real human touch, not by producing a mechanical vibration or buzzing sensation, but an actual gentle squeeze.

On Valentine’s Day the stylish piece of smart jewelry was launched on Kickstarter and within one hour it was already ‘trending’. Check the campaign video:

The bracelet incorporates advanced technology that communicates through Bluetooth with your smartphone. The ingenious design  ensures that a touch wouldn’t be sent accidentally. In order to send a message you should touch the bracelet in two places and it will be transferred directly to your phone and from there to the connected HEY bracelet anywhere in the world.

Via Bluetooth HEY is connected to an app on your smartphone. This app makes sure all your little squeezes reach the other bracelet directly. It also helps you pair the bracelets easily, fast and without any hassle. And last but not least it keeps track of your love stats. For instance the distance between you and your loved one or the last time you were together. If desired, these features can be turned off. In the future more features will be added to the app.

HEY is invented by Mark van Rossem. He looked at the current world of communication and saw that one thing was missing. And that thing was touch. People communicate through technology 24/7, but there is always a physical distance separating them. So Mark set himself the seemingly impossible goal to send touch at great distances and came up with the idea for HEY. Together with successful entrepreneur, David van Brakel, he gathered a team of creative and technical professionals that have all earned their credentials in their field of expertise. Together they want to build products that bring people closer.

“From a simple touch like squeezing someone’s hand, to hugging, social touch is important in the way we maintain healthy and happy social relationships with the people that we care about most.” – Gijs Huisman, who collaborated in developing bracelet, is an expert at the University of Twente in the field of Social Touch Technology and has been researching haptic technology (touch by tech) for five years now.

No need to worry a lot about the safety of the bracelet electronics since the design is weatherproof. With only 30 minutes of charging, you will be able to send touches for around 3 weeks!

HEY adds a completely new dimension to relationships and more haptic products will be developed in the near future. For more information and updates, check the official website and the Kickstarter campaign. 35 days are left to pre-order 2 HEY bracelets with the Kickstarter deal for €83 which is 30% of the retail price.

DIY BLE Thermometer With Arduino and Blynk

Konstantin Dimitrov has shared a new tutorial on Arduino Project Hub on how to make an Arduino/Genuino 101 Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) thermometer with TMP102 and Blynk. Blynk is a platform with iOS and Android apps to control Arduino, Raspberry Pi and the likes over the Internet. You can easily build graphical interfaces for all your projects by simply dragging and dropping widgets.

You will need:

In order to program this project, you should first include Blynk library by going to:

Sketch => Include Library => Manage Libraries. Click on “Manage Libraries”, then type Blynk in the search bar and you will get the library.  You should scan this QR code once you install the Blynk app on your smartphone to complete the settings.

“Now you need to get the “Auth Token”. Tap on the “Nut” icon then tap on the device and again on it, now you should see your “Auth Token”. E-mail or rewrite it, cause you will need it in the next step !”

In order to connect the Blynk app, tap on the Bluetooth app, tap on “Connect BLE Device” and choose your 101 board. You are now connected!

Finally upload this sketch on you Arduino:

/**************************************************************
 * Blynk is a platform with iOS and Android apps to control
 * Arduino, Raspberry Pi and the likes over the Internet.
 * You can easily build graphic interfaces for all your
 * projects by simply dragging and dropping widgets.
 *
 * This sketch was created by Konstatin Dimitrov 
 * under GNU v3.0 Licence 
 * 
 * Based on example scetch: Arduino_101_BLE
 ***************************************************
 *
 * This scetch shows how to send data from TMP102 with 
 * Arduino/Genuino 101 BLE to Blynk.
 *
 * Note: This requires CurieBLE library
 *   from http://librarymanager/all#CurieBLE
 *
 * NOTE: BLE support is in beta!
 *
 **************************************************************/

//#define BLYNK_USE_DIRECT_CONNECT

#define BLYNK_PRINT Serial

#include <Wire.h>
#include <BlynkSimpleCurieBLE.h>
#include <CurieBLE.h>

// You should get Auth Token in the Blynk App.
// Go to the Project Settings (nut icon).
char auth[] = "AUTH_TOKEN";

//TMP102 I2C (TWI) address in HEX
int tmp102Address = 0x48;

BLEPeripheral  blePeripheral;

void setup() {
  Serial.begin(9600);
  Wire.begin();
  delay(1000);
  
  blePeripheral.setLocalName("BLE Thermometer");
  blePeripheral.setDeviceName("BLE Thermometer");
  blePeripheral.setAppearance(384);

  Blynk.begin(blePeripheral, auth);

  blePeripheral.begin();
  
  Serial.println("Waiting for connections...");
}

//Temperature readings in Celsius on V0
BLYNK_READ(0)
  {
  float celsius = getTemperature();
  Blynk.virtualWrite(0, celsius);
  }
//Temperature readings in Fahrenheit on V1
BLYNK_READ(1)
  {
  float celsius = getTemperature();
  float fahrenheit = (1.8 * celsius) + 32;
  Blynk.virtualWrite(1, fahrenheit);
  }

BLYNK_READ(2)
  {
  float celsius = getTemperature();
  float kelvin = 273.15 + celsius;
  Blynk.virtualWrite(2, kelvin);
  }
  
void loop() {
  Blynk.run();
  blePeripheral.poll();
  }

float getTemperature(){
  Wire.requestFrom(tmp102Address,2); 

  byte MSB = Wire.read();
  byte LSB = Wire.read();

  //it's a 12bit int, using two's compliment for negative
  int TemperatureSum = ((MSB << 8) | LSB) >> 4; 

  float celsius = TemperatureSum*0.0625;
  return celsius;
}

To know more details, check the project’s page. Also check more projects by Konstnatin and follow him!

The Winkel Board, All-in-one Arduino Compatible Board

Mintbox Technologies is an Indian tech startup who build smarter connected devices for everyone. It is specialized in consumer electronics, open source software & hardware, PCB design services. Mintbox latest product is The Winkel Board, a powerful new Arduino-compatible, open source hardware platform for development and prototyping.

 

Based on the Atmel ATmega128 microcontroller, The Winkel Board is designed to be easy to use for both junior and senior makers including many popular peripherals such as WiFi, radio, and Bluetooth on board.

Check this video to know The Winkel Board features:

 

By providing an all-in-one compatible Arduino board, Mintbox team is working to solve the routine each maker does before starting a project, which they clarify in this list:

TODO for a maker while building something awesome:
-Prepare a list of right electronics components
-Prepare BOM
-Search them locally or online to fit the BOM
-Wait for the components to arrive if sourced online
-Getting started with prototyping
-Go online again studying libraries and figuring out how they can be interfaced on breadboard or etch a PCB
-Finally start building and actually working on your project and then try not to rage quit

The Winkel Board specifications

  • MCU – Microchip/Atmel ATmega128 MCU @ 16 MHz with 128KB flash memory, 4KB SRAM, 4KB EEPROM
  • Connectivity
    • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n via ESP12E module based on ESP8266
    • Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR via HC-05 module
    • RF Radio – NRF24l01 2.4 GHz ISM radio.
  • I/Os (through both Atmel MCU and ESP8266)
    • 38x Digital I/Os
    • 7x PWM Digital I/Os
    • 8x Analog Inputs
  • USB – micro USB port for programming and power
  • Misc – DS3231 Real-Time Clock + CR2032 battery slot, a few LEDS, reset button, jumper for OTA mode, ISP header, optional MPU-6050 Gyro+accelerometer mount
  • Power Supply – 5 V
  • Dimensions – TBD
Pinout Diagram

 

This board is said to be a one stop platform, that combines different communication protocols and allows a lot of I/O operations, thus you can do everything at once or choose specific on-board components to work with.

The Winkel Board is completely open source, you can check Mintbox’s Github once they upload all the source files soon. This board is now live in a crowd -funding campaign, you can pre-order your own Winkel now for around $21.

Bluetooth 5 Is Here!

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) has officially launched the core specifications of the new version of Bluetooth: Bluetooth 5. These specifications include longer range, faster speed, and larger broadcast message capacity, as well as improved interoperability and coexistence with other wireless technologies than recent Bluetooth versions, making it possible to advance IoT applications and usages.

Bluetooth is revolutionizing how people experience the IoT. Bluetooth 5 continues to drive this revolution by delivering reliable IoT connections and mobilizing the adoption of beacons, which in turn will decrease connection barriers and enable a seamless IoT experience” says Mark Powell, SIG’s executive director.

Keeping up with powering IoT, Bluetooth 5 has some additional features that better enable industrial automation and whole home coverage by addressing challenges like range and download speeds. It is said to improve location awareness with a smarter technology that collects data to provide personalized experiences for the end user.

While doubling the speed to enable the making of more responsive devices, Bluetooth 5 developers didn’t miss to maintain low-power consumption that results a faster data transfer.

By 2021, ABI Research predicts 48 billion internet-enabled devices will be installed, and Bluetooth—predicted to be in nearly one-third of those devices—is a cornerstone of that growth.

“The global wireless connectivity market is growing rapidly, with an anticipated 10 billion annual IC shipments by 2021,” said Andrew Zignani with ABI Research. “The introduction of Bluetooth 5 will create new opportunities in various verticals of the IoT market by reducing complexity and cost and giving manufacturers greater flexibility in targeting multiple applications and use cases.”

Within two to six months, new products are expected to be launched using this ubiquitous technology, so stay tuned!

More details about Bluetooth 5 here: www.bluetooth.com/bluetooth5

MDBT42Q, nRF52832-based BLE module

The open hardware innovation platform Seeedstudio produces the MDBT42Q, a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) module. It is a BT 4.0, BT 4.1 and BT 4.2 module designed based on Nordic nRF52832 SoC, a powerful, highly flexible ultra-low power multiprotocol SoC ideally suited for Bluetooth low energy, ANT and 2.4GHz ultra low-power wireless applications.

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MDBT42Q features a dual transmission mode of BLE and 2.4 GHz RF with over 80 meters working distance in open space. It is a 16 x 10 x 2.2 mm board which contains GPIO, SPI, UART, I2C, I2S, PWM and ADC interfaces for connecting peripherals and sensors.

nrf52832_mediumThe nRF52832 SoC is built around a 32-bit ARM® Cortex™-M4F CPU with 512kB and 64kB RAM. The embedded 2.4GHz transceiver supports Bluetooth low energy, ANT and proprietary 2.4 GHz protocol stack. It is on air compatible with the nRF51 Series, nRF24L and nRF24AP Series products from Nordic Semiconductor.

MDBT42Q Specifications:

  • Multi-protocol 2.4GHz radio
  • 32-bit ARM Cortex – M4F processor
  • 512KB flash programmed memory and 64KB RAM
  • Software stacks available as downloads
  • Application development independent from protocol stack
  • On-air compatible with nRF51, nRF24AP and nRF24L series
  • Programmable output power from +4dBm to -20dBm
  • RAM mapped FIFOs using EasyDMA
  • Dynamic on-air payload length up to 256 bytes
  • Flexible and configurable 32 pin GPIO
  • Simple ON / OFF global power mode
  • Full set of digital interface all with Easy DMA including:
  • 3 x Hardware SPI master ; 3 x Hardware SPI slave
  • 2 x two-wire master ; 2 x two-wire slave
  • 1 x UART (CTS / RTS)
  • PDM for digital microphone
  • I2S for audio
  • 12-bit / 200KSPS ADC
  • 128-bit AES ECB / CCM / AAR co-processor
  • Lowe cost external crystal 32MHz ± 40ppm for Bluetooth ; ± 50ppm for ANT Plus
  • Lowe power 32MHz crystal and RC oscillators
  • Wide supply voltage range 1.7V to 3.6V
  • On-chip DC/DC buck converter
  • Individual power management for all peripherals
  • Timer counter
  • 3 x 24-bit RTC
  • NFC-A tag interface for OOB pairing
  • RoHS and REACH compliant

pcb

This BLE module can be used in a wide range of applications, such as Internet of Things (IoT), Personal Area Networks, Interactive entertainment devices, Beacons, A4WP wireless chargers and devices, Remote control toys, and computer peripherals and I/O devices.

Full specifications, datasheet, and product documents are available at seeedstudio store, it can be backordered for only $10.

FiPy, The Future IoT Module

The hardware startup Pycom have been working hard to create a fast-develop-and-connect hardware portfolio, a portal and gathered enough developer manpower to unleash the IoT growth potential. Pycom has just launched its newest product: FiPy!

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FiPy is the new IoT module that connects your device to other networks. According to what the company describes, it is the most comprehensive solution, unifying LTE with other proprietary or unlicensed LPWA technologies into a single, five-network IoT connectivity solution.

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“In addition to WiFi, BLE, LoRa and Sigfox, we’ve added the latest cellular technology for IoT: LTE-M. But, we didn’t just go for one frequency type either. Nope, we partnered with the leaders in their field, Sequans, and are now proud to confirm that our module will have both CAT NB1 and CAT M1.”

The board specifications

  • ESP32-based – Espressif ESP32 SoC
  • Dual processor and WiFi+Bluetooth radio system on chip
  • Supports 5 networks: WiFi, BLE, cellular LTE-CATM1/M2(NBIoT), LoRa, and Sigfox
  • RTC running @ 32KHz
  • Size: 55 x 20 x 3.5 mm
  • Micropython enabled
  • Pymakr and Pymate compatible
  • All your apps from WiPy, LoPy and SiPy will work on FiPy too
  • Open source firmware

Pycom is redefining IoT with this brand new module! FiPy gives access to all the world’s LPWAN networks on one tiny board. It is now live on Kickstarter, check the campaign video:

You can pre-order your FiPy now for $39, the campaign still has 23 days to go and it has already achieved double of its goal. More information about FiPy plus its sensors and accessories check the crowdfunding campaign and the official website.

BLE Carbon, The New $28 IoT Edition SBC

Linaro, a collaborative engineering organization consolidating and optimizing open source software and tools for the ARM architecture, is bringing together industry and the open source community to work on key projects, reduce industry wide fragmentation, and provide common software foundations for all. During the last Linaro Connect event at Las Vegas, a new BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) product had been debuted!

The BLE Carbon is joint efforts by Linaro, 96Boards, and Seeedstudio, aims to provide economic and compact BLE solutions for IoT projects.Carbon is the first board to be certified 96Boards IoT Edition compatible that targets the Internet of Things (IoT) and Embedded segments.

While 96Boards, the open hardware standardization group, has an IoT Edition (IE) specification for low-cost ARM Cortex-A and Cortex-M development boards, it also has another two: the Consumer Edition (CE), the Enterprise Edition (EE).

Although Linaro and 96Boards named this board “Carbon”, Seeedstudio choose “BLE Carbon” which may reveal some future plans to produce other editions with the same technology.

BLE Carbon
BLE Carbon

Carbon has a Cortex-M4 chip, 512KB onboard flash, built in Bluetooth, and a 30-pin low speed expansion header capable of up to 3.3V digital and analog GPIO. Moreover, Carbon is the first SBC (Single Board Computer) to run the Linux Foundation’s Intel-backed Zephyr OS which is an open source, small, scalable, real-time OS for use on resource-constrained systems and IoT devices. A technical overview of Zephyr is available in this video.

The 60 x 30mm SBC preloaded with Zephyr RTOS runs on ST’s STM32F401 microcontroller. It also features two micro-USB ports, one of which is used for power, and has the required 30-pin low-speed connector. Analog pins and debug connectors are also onboard. In addition to 6x LEDs, reset, and boot buttons.

BLE Carbon Pin Assignments
BLE Carbon Pin Assignments

Here are BLE Carbon full specifications:

  • Processor — ST STM32F401 (1x Cortex-M4 @ up to 84MHz)
  • Memory (via STM32F401) — 96KB RAM; 512KB flash
  • Wireless — Bluetooth LE (2.4GHz nRF51822); chip antenna
  • Other I/O:
    • 2x micro-USB ports (1x for power)
    • 6x analog pins
    • SWD debug connectors
    • 30-pin (2 x 15-pin 2.54mm pitch) low-speed expansion connector (+3.3V, +5V, VCC, GND, UART, I2C, SPI, 4x GPIO)
  • Other features — 6x LEDs (UART Tx and Rx, power, BT, 2x user); reset and boot buttons
  • Power — Micro-USB based with fuse protect; 3.3V digital out; 0-3.3V analog in
  • Dimensions — 60 x 30mm
  • Operating system — Zephyr

How to use BLE Carbon

Here are what you need to start setting up the board:

  • USB to MicroUSB cable (x2)
    • This is needed for serial console interface and USB-OTG (including DFU support)
  • Switches
    • Two switches are provided: RST to reset the STM32F401 chip, BOOT0 to enter the STM32F4 bootloader
  • Pin headers (unpopulated)
    • Tx/Rx UART for STM32F4 chip
    • 5-pin SWD interface to STM32F4 chip
    • BOOT0 and BOOT1 lines exposed
    • 5-pin SWD interface to nRF51 chip

To start the board for the first time just connect the micro-USB cable to supply power to the Carbon. The board will begin to boot Zephyr immediately. You can use either of the micro-USB ports to power the Carbon. Currently, Linux is the only supporting host system for Carbon while Windows and Mac OS support is coming soon. Some Linux host applications are available here.

The BLE Carbon SBC can be pre-ordered from SeedStudio  for $27.95. More details about Carbon can be reached at BLE Carbon wiki and 96Boards full documentation.

Via: HackerBoards.com

Web-Bluetooth Devices Integration

Chrome Browser version 53 came out with a new feature: Origin Trial for Bluetooth which allows websites to use this feature and enable Web Bluetooth for all their visitors. Web Bluetooth is a new technology that connects the Web with the Internet of Things, this technology will provide a level of integration in the IoT scene that never happened before making web designers eager to get their bits out into the real world.

There is no need to install a mobile app on your smartphone to control any of your Bluetooth Low Energy (BTLE) devices anymore. Thanks to this technology, it will be easier to build one solution that will work on all platforms, including both mobile and desktop, that result to lower development costs, more open source control interfaces for various physical products, and more innovation.

To understand how that works, here’s an example of a drone controlled from a web app:

In Bluetooth Low Energy networks, devices play two roles. A device can be either a “Central” or a “Peripheral”. Bluetooth device with services that correspond to one function of the device. Each service exposes variables called characteristics that represent one parameter of the service, which can be read, written or both. Each service and characteristic is identified by a unique 16-bit or 128-bit number and they are defined by the Bluetooth SIG (Special Interest Group).

Bluetooth Low Energy: Peripherals, Services and Characteristics
Bluetooth Low Energy: Peripherals, Services and Characteristics

How to use Web Bluetooth

  • In order to use Web Bluetooth, your site must be served over a secure connection (HTTPS). A secure website is becoming a requirement for a growing number of new web APIs. One way is using GitHub hosting. The implementation of the Web Bluetooth API is partially complete and currently available on Chrome OS, Chrome for Android M, Linux, and Mac.
  • Go to chrome://flags/#enable-web-bluetooth, enable the highlighted flag, restart Chrome and you should be able to scan for and connect to nearby Bluetooth devices, read/write Bluetooth characteristics, receive GATT (Generic Attribute Profile) Notifications and know when a Bluetooth device gets disconnected.
  • Building a Web Bluetooth App

This is the process that will be common for all Web Bluetooth apps:

  1. Scan for a relevant Device
  2. Connect to it
  3. Get the Service you are interested in
  4. Get the Characteristic you are interested in
  5. Read, Write or Subscribe to the Characteristic

The code should be written in JavaScript. It has to scan for a device with an identified Service number, then ask for this service, ask for a specific characteristic number, and finally write the desired command. An example for hacking a light bulb and connecting it to the web via bluetooth is available here.

Although the browser is the most ubiquitous cross-platform operating system that the world has ever seen working on all platforms and systems, it could be a threat because of many malicious websites that mischief with your security. Sites ask the browser to show a list of nearby Bluetooth devices matching certain criteria, and the user either picks which to grant access to or cancels the dialog. Thus, users’ permission is the only responsible about their own privacy.

Two conflicting views are raising right now, one is for IoT enthusiasts and the other’s for security geeks. Essentially, this integration will push forward the development of new IoT applications. but it may risk users’ privacy. On the contrary, Developers are promising to minimize risks and are assuring that connection through this API will be secure and privacy-preserving. The Chrome team will end the trial in next January (2017), and after that, they expect to be able to stabilize the feature and move it closer to a general release.

Further details can be found at the official documentation website, the blog of one the developers, and this step-by-step tutorial. More about the security model can be reached here.

Convert $2 LED Lamp to $50 Smart Lamp

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taifur @ instructables.com show us how to convert a simple LED lamp to a smart one that can be controlled using a smartphone.

A smart bulb is an internet or Bluetooth-capable LED light bulb that allows lighting to be customized, scheduled and controlled remotely. Smart bulbs are among the most immediately successful offerings in the growing category of home automation and Internet of Things (IoT) products. In today’s market many types of smart bulbs are available form price $10 to $100. But, can you think you can convert a low price led bulb to a smart bulb easily? Today I will show you how I converted a cheap Chinese led lamp to a Smart Lamp.

Convert $2 LED Lamp to $50 Smart Lamp – [Link]

Using Bluetooth LE in Products

Jone Teel over Makezine walked through how to use BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy ), aka Bluetooth smart, in an electronic product.

BLE, unlike classic Bluetooth, it’s not designed for big data transmission or streaming audio or video. BLE comes in SoC (System on Chip) ICs which combine a RF transceiver and a microcontroller running the Bluetooth stack (firmware) all in a single chip but you can still have the transceiver alone and run the software stack firmware on your processor.

Possible Hardware Configuration in BLE Solutions - Getting Started with Bluetooth Low Energy by Kevin Townsend, Carles Cufí, Akiba, and Robert Davidson (O’Reilly)
Possible Hardware Configuration in BLE Solutions – Getting Started with Bluetooth Low Energy by Kevin Townsend, Carles Cufí, Akiba, and Robert Davidson (O’Reilly)

According to Jone, the software stack of Bluetooth Classic must be purchased separately and costs at least $10,000 USD plus a per unit licensing fee for every unit sold. Now, BLE SoC makers provide the software stack free in most cases. For example, Nordic Semiconductors provides the software stack S110, S120 and S130 SoftDevice for free.

most popular BLE chip solutions - Makezine
most popular BLE chip solutions – Makezine

 

Jone advises to use ready made BLE modules rather than chips and this will reduce the costs required for FCC certification and eliminate the need for antenna tuning.

Jone ends his article talking about the Antenna design solutions using a ceramic antenna or a trace antenna on PCB.

Via: Makezine