Communications

Accelerate the development of smartphone-controlled devices

6th August 2015
Siobhan O'Gorman

Punch Through has announced the launch of the Bean+, the newest member of the company’s LightBlue BLE ecosystem. Bean+ is an Arduino compatible board that users programme wirelessly using BLE. It is the easiest way to get started with BLE and create smartphone-controlled IoT devices.

Featuring a built-in rechargeable battery, accelerometer, temperature sensor and RGB LED, the board allows hobbyists, developers and prototypers to quickly build smartphone-controlled devices. Programmed wirelessly from iOS, OS X, Windows and Android, the Bean+ makes building a smartphone-controlled project as easy as downloading an app.

To kick-start projects, the board arrives to users with four new pre-programmed profiles. The MIDI profile support allows the Bean+ to send and receive MIDI data, letting users design musical input and output devices. A second profile, HID, enables the board to be used as a wireless mouse or keyboard with smartphones, tablets and computers. Receiving notifications from your iOS device is now possible with the addition of the ANCS profile. Lastly, peer-to-peer communication is now possible with the addition of the Observer role, allowing the Bean+ to talk to other Bean+ projects, as well as listen to other BLE devices nearby.

The Bean+ is the company’s first to include both header and Grove connectors, allowing users to prototype without soldering. This feature opens up project creation to a wider audience and positions Bean+ for educational use, providing instructors with a reusable Arduino-compatible board for multi-level learning environments that lets novice users start creating immediately.

Since the original Bean launched there has been a thriving ecosystem of compatible software, which will also be compatible with the Bean+. The Bean+ is supported by IBM’s Node-RED project, allowing for visual programming and easy connection of Beans to the cloud. Also supported is Citrix System’s Octoblu, a cloud-hosted software platform for managing M2M interactions.

The LightBlue platform also serves as a cost-effective and efficient foundation by professional developers to speed creation and time-to-market for products that leverage mobile and the web. Utilising the LightBlue ecosystem, innovative startups and Fortune 500 companies can re-use Bean functionality in their own products with a custom form factor and price optimized for production quantities.

“Bean+ is a BLE board that combines power with simplicity, making it easier than ever to create smartphone-controlled projects that are fun, meaningful and can even be used as the building block for commercial products,” said Colin Karpfinger, Founder and CEO, Punch Through. “With the new release, the Bean+ is the most fully-featured Arduino-compatible board on the market today, which you can see in the community and ecosystem evolving around it.”

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