March 20, 2014 AT 5:51 pm

Tutorial: Introduction to Bluetooth Low Energy #bluetooth #BTLE

Microcontrollers Logobluetoothsmart
Tutorial: Introduction to Bluetooth Low Energy @ The Adafruit Learning System.

Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), sometimes referred to as “Bluetooth Smart”, is a light-weight subset of classic Bluetooth and was introduced as part of the Bluetooth 4.0 core specification. While there is some overlap with classic Bluetooth, BLE actually has a completely different lineage and was started by Nokia as an in-house project called ‘Wibree’ before being adopted by the Bluetooth SIG.

There are plenty of wireless protocols out there for engineers and product designers, but what makes BLE so interesting is that it’s almost certainly the easiest way to design something that can talk to any modern mobile platform out there (iOS, Android, Windows phones, etc.), and particularly in the case of Apple devices it’s the only HW design option that doesn’t require you to jump through endless hoops to be able to legally market your product for iOS devices.

This guide will give you a quick overview of BLE, specifically how data is organized in Bluetooth Low Energy, and how devices advertise their presence so that you can connect to them and start passing data back and forth.

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  1. Bluetooth Smart is the new term for BTLE. Mahana (http://www.getmahana.com) and the Bluetooth SIG announced the new term at the Bluetooth Smart Meetup at SXSWi. The term BTLE, BLE, BTLE 4, and Bluetooth Low Energy are now legacy terms.

  2. I wish the Bluetooth SIG good luck with that one. 😉 They’ve been pushing BTSmart for a while, but everyone I know working with this day to day still uses (and will likely continue to use) BLE, and I don’t see that changing whatever the marketing team on the SIG might think. Maybe time will prove me wrong, but I kind of doubt it.

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