Wed, Jan 25, 2017

Build Connected Devices using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)

Build Connected Devices using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)

We often discuss connected objects and the Internet of Things (IoT) these days. These new intelligent objects are emerging, promising to transform your daily life: a fridge that fills itself, a plant that speaks to you, and much more. A less well-known but equally revolutionary application of these wireless technologies is for communication between devices, smartphones, and/or tablets. By enabling the control of other devices at a short distance, this opens up new opportunities for teaching, playing, or experiencing an event.

You don't need a robot to revolutionize your everyday life. Just take a look in your pocket! Your smartphone is probably equipped with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology, which is one of the wireless technologies used for connected objects. BLE is primarily intended for objects with low bitrate needs and where autonomy is crucial, such as your smartphone or beacon tags.

Thanks to BLE, your device can permanently transmit signals that can be picked up by another device. With the new PandaSuite component, you can create actions that begin as soon as these signals are recognized.

But why use this feature? It may be too early to consider all of tomorrow’s uses, but here are some possibilities we find most interesting.

The “remote control”

The AAA (Adaptation of African Agriculture) booth at Cop 22
The AAA (Adaptation of African Agriculture) booth at Cop 22

Following the success of virtual reality, the trend in events is offering participants a unique and personalized experience.

Imagine giant screen walls where participants broadcast content. Thanks to BLE, you can develop “remote control” terminals that control displayed content according to the participants’ desires, using simple tablets embedded in the booth.

Multi-device games

Flight Control, one of the first games to rely on Bluetooth
Flight Control, one of the first games to rely on Bluetooth

What if you take players beyond their screens? With communication between devices, you can easily implement multi-player and cross-support features (tablet, smartphone…) to create stunning effects.

Note: this is great for playing on the train, as you just need two devices, without any internet connection!

Communicating with street furniture

JCDecaux internet website
JCDecaux internet website

More and more urban furniture incorporates Bluetooth technology to send contextual information to nearby mobile devices. Some are also equipped with interactive screens.

With a little imagination, it’s easy to design smartphone apps that work with bus stop screens to deliver an unusual street marketing experience.

Interact with an audience (participants, students)

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Looking for new ways to interact with an audience? Live voting, quizzes, surveys, games… These interactive elements let you hold your audience’s attention before, during and after your event.

In a pedagogical context, many innovations enrich the teacher-learner relationship. Similar to a virtual classroom or an interactive screen, a teacher can quiz students anytime, collecting the answers and immediately identifying any difficulties.

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