Exploring Bluetooth 5 - Going the Distance

Bluetooth 5

The Age of IoT According to a paper by Goldman Sachs, in the 1990s there were approximately 1 billion devices connected to the internet. In the 2000s, the “age of the smartphone”, this figure rose to 2 billion. ABI Research now forecast that by 2021 there will be 48 billion devices connected to the internet, in what we’re likely to term “the age of IoT”. Of those 48 billion devices, 30% are forecast to be Bluetooth devices. This is no coincidence. Bluetooth low energy has been actively developed... Continue Reading

Hybrid Mobile Applications Part 2

Introduction In Part 1, I explored some of the practical challenges which mobile application developers face, when they want their application to be available on multiple platforms. I contrasted the building of platform-specific, native applications with cross-platform web applications which execute within a web browser. I went on to introduce the “hybrid mobile application”, which would appear to offer the best of both worlds, allowing the developer to create one set of application source code... Continue Reading

Hybrid Mobile Applications and Bluetooth Technology – Part 1

Introduction A mobile developer’s job is not an easy one. Ensuring their killer application is available to as many people on the planet as possible may mean developing four, five or possibly more versions of the application to enable it to run on the full variety of mobile platforms. Android and iOS dominate the market, but don’t forget about Windows Phone, BlackBerry 10 and Tizen. In some sectors and geographies, platforms with a smaller global market share have a disproportionately larger significance. Continue Reading

Bluetooth Developer Starter Kit version 3

Bluetooth Developer Starter Kit

Introduction If you’re new to developing Bluetooth applications or firmware, the Bluetooth Developer Starter Kit (BDSK) is the perfect resource for you. It consists of several coding projects for you to complete, starting with an Arduino 101 project, which leads you one step at a time through the process of designing and implementing a custom Bluetooth profile on the Arduino. This allows a smartphone application to control a custom circuit connected to the Arduino. Once you’ve completed the Arduino... Continue Reading

The BBC Robot Wars micro:bit Coding Challenge


Robot Wars is a BBC TV show featuring robots...and war.Robot Wars works like this. Contestants, usually teams of two or more, build awe-inspiring, battling robots. They bring them on the show and fight other contestants’ robots in a purpose-built arena—all the time keeping an eye open for the fearsome and deadly house robots. You win a bout by immobilsing (e.g. by completely destroying) all the other robots or, if no clear winner emerges when time runs out, by judges’ decision. The judges assess... Continue Reading

A Developer's Guide to Bluetooth

A Developer's Guide to Bluetooth

IntroductionBluetooth is the wireless communications technology for developers which allows devices to communicate with each other without the need for a central device like a router or access point.Bluetooth has a special “low energy feature” which means it can be used without requiring much power from the devices using it.In the world of Bluetooth low energy, a device has something called a “profile” which defines the way other devices are able to communicate over Bluetooth with it. In a way, Continue Reading

Developing Applications for the BBC micro:bit


The Story So FarIn Part 1 of my BBC micro:bit series, I explained the background of the BBC micro:bit, a remarkable programmable device which will inspire school children to get creative with coding and making things. I also shared a quick look at its architecture and main features. In Part 2, I gave a guided tour of the micro:bit’s default Bluetooth profile. In this final blog post, I’ll be examining ways in which you can create code for the micro:bit, and how you can write code for other devices... Continue Reading

Bluetooth and the BBC micro:bit: Introducing Young People to an Unthinkably Connected World


Part 2: Designing the Profile for the micro:bitPart 2 of my BBC micro:bit series takes a much closer look at its Bluetooth capabilities and describes the way in which the micro:bit’s default Bluetooth profile was designed. Check out part 1, where I described the background to the micro:bit, it’s hardware features and architecture.Designing the micro:bit Bluetooth profileMy first BBC micro:bit meeting was in the spring of 2014 and involved the BBC plus micro:bit partners Lancaster University, ARM... Continue Reading

BBC micro:bit - The Woolley Factor

BBC micro:bit - The Woolley Factor

A lot of work has been done on the BBC micro:bit and we've produced a lot of documentation along the way. This growing collection of videos and code will give you further understanding about this exciting project.Most of the videos feature an Android application I wrote to enable the testing and demonstration of the many Bluetooth capabilities for the BBC micro:bit.In order to fully use the application and enjoy your micro:bit's Bluetooth capabilities, you need a hex file which contains the full... Continue Reading