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Windows Users Can Now Create Bluetooth-Powered Devices With LightBlue Bean

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The applications of smartphones in daily life
continues to increase outside of just calling people
and sending messages. Punch Through Design is one
company that tries to extend that usage to those who
want to have a more hands-on approach to creating
their own Bluetooth-controlled devices with its
LightBlue Bean, a tiny, wireless circuit board that
serves as the brain for any smartphone-controlled
projects.
The LightBlue Bean was initially available only for
Mac OS X and iOS users, but the company
announced today it expanded its coverage to include
users on Windows 8.1 laptops and Surface Pro
tablets. It also launched an app for the controller
called the Windows Bean Loader.
The app will be the main hub when making LightBlue
Bean-based projects, and there are no wired
connections needed since the LightBlue Bean is
connected to the smartphone via Bluetooth 4.0 and
Bluetooth Low Energy. It’s where users will program
most of the parameters for their projects; read and
log data from the LightBlue Bean’s temperature,
accelerometer and RGB LED sensors; and secure the
Bluetooth pairing.
Of course, a little Arduino programming language is
required to use the app, but the company provided a
user guide as well as a few starter projects for new
users, such as an automatic bike light and a
smartphone-controlled door lock. As for the board
itself, the LightBlue Bean is tiny, with a rectangular
dimension of 1.775 in. x 0.8 in. and is powered by an
ATmega28p microcontroller with a clock speed of 8
MHz. It features an LBM313 Bluetooth Low Energy
Module, six digital I/O pins, two analog pins, and it
only requires three volts for its operating voltage. Read more

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