Wednesday, September 04, 2013

I2BLE (Intro to Bluetooth Low Energy)

Hack A Day - Primer on Bluetooth Low Energy

We’re sure that, like us, you’ve heard at least something about Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). Bluetooth 4.0 is another name for BLE and it’s already available in some smartphones; starting with the iPhone 4S, BlackBerry 10, and with Android support added in 4.3 — Jelly Bean. Here’s your chance to get acquainted which what the specification brings to the table. The source material (which we’ll talk about below) provides a ton of background. But if you want a succinct overview check out [Gervasi's] summary of Bluetooth Low Energy.

We won’t republish the technical details here as both articles do a great job of covering those. Here’s what you should take away from BLE: It’s meant for use with devices running off of a tiny power source...

Element 14 - Bluetooth Low Energy

In the past year Bluetooth low energy (BLE) has seen a surge in popularity.

Despite its name, BLE is not that similar to conventional Bluetooth.  One of its selling points is that you can design a BLE device to run off a 230mAh CR2032 Li coin cell.  This is possible, but in practice developers often end up using a larger battery.  The rated 230mAh on a coin cell assumes very low current draw.  If you draw more than a few hundred microamps, except in very short bursts, the capacity is cut in half.  Moreover a Li cell’s internal resistance rises as its power is depleted more than cells of other chemistries.  If your power budget requires more than 100mAh, a CR2032 will be insufficient. 

The BLE physical layer divides ...


BlackBerry 10 - Bluetooth LE primer for developers

This article is part of a series intended to help developers wishing to exploit Bluetooth® Low Energy® technology in their BlackBerry® 10 applications. No pre-requisite knowledge of Bluetooth Low Energy is necessary to appreciate this article as a summary of the technology is included. Readers of this article ought to be familiar with BlackBerry 10 native development, including Qt® and QML, and should be familiar with C++ in order to appreciate the sample application that is used to demonstrate the concepts.

The approach taken in this article is to describe the concepts and architecture that comprise Bluetooth Low Energy and then use the vehicle of a real world example of a Heart Rate Monitor application (HeartMonitor) to build on these concepts. This sample application has been published on GitHub® as Open Source.

The Authors

This article was co-authored by Martin Woolley and John Murray both of whom work in the BlackBerry Developer Relations team. Both Martin and John specialize in the application of proximity radio technology on BlackBerry devices including Bluetooth and NFC (amongst other things).

An Overview of Bluetooth Low Energy Technology

So, you’ve probably thought to yourself: “What can possibly be new in Bluetooth? What’s this “Low Energy” thing and what can I use it for? ” Bluetooth is a technology that’s been around for many years (it was originally conceived in 1994 as a wireless cable replacement technology) and we’ve become comfortable with its presence everywhere in devices such as Bluetooth Headsets, or other peripherals.

If I was to paraphrase how Bluetooth has evolved since its inception until about 2010, then it would be to say that it was following a path towards higher ...

At Build 2013 Scott Walker of Secret Labs was very excited about the AGENT Smart Watch's support for BLE. I didn't have the heart (or the will to highlight my ignorance) to say that I didn't really know jack about BLE. And while I still am clueless (and not just about BLE, ask anyone! ;) I'm that much less now after reading these, and they didn't even make my eyes bleed or brain explode (much). And now I see why he was so excited... :)

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