Open Bluetooth Sensor/Controller Project

Thread Starter

Joe_Limon

Joined Jan 9, 2014
13
Hello, I would like to make a little introduction post, as well as see if I can drum up any interest in a project I am starting.

Project Details:
I want to create a set of bluetooth sensors and controllers that can record and output varying Voltages/resistances and Amperages. These sensors are to be connected to iOS/Android applications. Since the project will be open source, anyone can develop their own applications to use the hardware.

I will be hosting a kickoff meeting for this project on January 9, 2014 at 11:00am PST via a google hangout. If you can't attend this meeting, feel free to send me a message/email and I can work out a time to meet with you.

If you know somebody who might be interested in this project, be sure to pass the link along!

In the meantime, I'm going to be perusing the forum reading similar posts.
 

mcgyvr

Joined Oct 15, 2009
5,394
And what is the intended use of these sensors/controllers?
There are hundreds of Bluetooth devices out there. What does yours do that others can't?
Is there are specific market you are targeting.
 

Thread Starter

Joe_Limon

Joined Jan 9, 2014
13
The goal is to create a set of hardware that all plays nicely together and to do it cheaply. If you want monitor several different sources, you need to spend money/time setting up a daq+sensors. If you want to monitor something that can't be directly accessed, you're forced to record the data for later, or buy expensive wireless daq kits. Further, if you want the ability to manipulate something, you need a daq that has an output, or to invest in some sort of other control system.

Ideally, all that should be needed is a smart phone, a free app, and all you have to do are buy sensors/controls that work with it. Further, if the system is open source, you have the ability for others to innovate on the base set up by this project.
 

blueroomelectronics

Joined Jul 22, 2007
1,757
Bluetooth is very limited to how many connections it can support, usually 7. Try ZigBee instead (a cheap mesh network for serial devices). Want roll your own then read up on Microchips' MiWi.
 

Thread Starter

Joe_Limon

Joined Jan 9, 2014
13
I was reading about ZigBee, and the biggest drawback to it, is that we would have to sell/manufacture something that can attach to your cell phone. With bluetooth all you need is the one piece of hardware and an app. If you need to boost the number of connections with bluetooth you could always manufacture nodes so the phone can control 7 local nodes which then can control 42 sensors/etc. These nodes do not need to be attached to the cell phone, and can clip onto or near by the other devices.
 

THE_RB

Joined Feb 11, 2008
5,438
Bluetooth's distance range is pretty poor.

There are a lot of cheap RF chips now (nRF series etc) with better ranges and better data transfer rates.
 

GetDeviceInfo

Joined Jun 7, 2009
1,844
I'd think there would be two distinct areas, the protocol and vender support. The rest, including any physical, power, etc, be left unbounded. A protocol could be had by adopting an existing one, which comes down then to vender support. The different mobile OS support bluetooth in different degrees. If the object is to use any mobile device, then common denominator must be found across all platforms.
 

Thread Starter

Joe_Limon

Joined Jan 9, 2014
13
Correct me if I am wrong, but shouldn't we simply design around the bluetooth standard? If a phone vendor doesn't follow that standard then it should be outside the scope of this project.
 

GetDeviceInfo

Joined Jun 7, 2009
1,844
Correct me if I am wrong, but shouldn't we simply design around the bluetooth standard? If a phone vendor doesn't follow that standard then it should be outside the scope of this project.
What Bluetooth standard is supported across the various platforms? What protocol would one target, as support for any particular varies dramatically.
 
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Thread Starter

Joe_Limon

Joined Jan 9, 2014
13
I see what you mean, why can't we support all/most bluetooth standards? The device is modular, so it is easy to use fabricate and sell multiple relays.
 

GetDeviceInfo

Joined Jun 7, 2009
1,844
I see what you mean, why can't we support all/most bluetooth standards? The device is modular, so it is easy to use fabricate and sell multiple relays.
you could, but the concern is on the mobile device, more than the embedded.

I'm wondering if WiFi wouldn't have more of a future?
 
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Thread Starter

Joe_Limon

Joined Jan 9, 2014
13
Wifi would enable people to stream data online, which opens up new opportunities.

My biggest worries with wifi is how difficult it is to connect to a router. Along with situations where you don't have a wireless network. I.e. monitoring a vehicle.

I think other wireless connection types would be best suited as stretch goals for this project. Keep flexibility in mind when desiging the product, then develop extra flexibility as demand dictates.
 
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GetDeviceInfo

Joined Jun 7, 2009
1,844
Wifi would enable people to stream data online, which opens up new opportunities.

My biggest worries with wifi is how difficult it is to connect to a router. Along with situations where you don't have a wireless network. I.e. monitoring a vehicle.

I think other wireless connection types would be best suited as stretch goals for this project. Keep flexibility in mind when desiging the product, then develop extra flexibility as demand dictates.
convinced myself, I'm heading over to the Wifi camp.
 

Thread Starter

Joe_Limon

Joined Jan 9, 2014
13
What is the most efficient way to add bits of data to the beginning or end of a data stream?
 
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