Hello I am really new in hardware development and I would like to know if it possible to add bluetooth low energy to the spark core. Do I need to buy a Shield Shield in order to transform the spark core in arduino? Or can I do this directly?
You can definitely interface a bluetooth module with the Core. Any module with an I2C, SPI or UART interface (operating at 3.3V can be directly connected) The shield shield makes it easy to interface already existing bluetooth shields made for arduino (that operate at 5V).
is there demand for a miniaturized version of the BLE-Shield or an even bigger BLEbee which is pin compatible with the Spark Core, it would be worth thinking to create such a thing. Not a big deal.
I guess obvious use would be as a gateway BLE<–> internet.
Such a power consumption mismatch though. Could BLE power up the Spark Core as required? Not too practical I guess.
Hmmm, how else could the two technologies compliment each other? iBeacon/ANCS? iBeacon, Hmmmm!
Also Dr. Michael, a “feature demand” might be for you to get “type acceptance” from MFi for iBeacon usage of any hardware under the new rules (as of yesterday). It’s free I think. :-} But probably impossible.
First of it thanks for the quick answers of all of you.
I am really new in hardware development. And I am trying to understand how it work.
My goal is to produce an hardware based on the spark core that can connect with smarthphones using BLE.
@mkroll Is the BLEbee can be directly using with the Spark Core?
Yes, bad choice for an example. The point I was trying to make was that if you were to use a BLE module that can run at 3.3V, then one can directly interface it to the Core without the need for a Shield Shield.
We have integrated the Nordic Semiconductor nRF8001 module with the spark core and have provided a simple UART over BLE interface to connect the Spark core to a phone. The BLE can be used to get WiFi credentials and also to return debug information for issues the Spark have when connecting to WiFi.
So this is useful for troubleshooting and is an easier method to set WiFi credentials.
This is now available as a spark.io library (NRF8001-BLE-UART-SPARK-IO) so you can play with it.
You can use the nRF UART apps in the Apple app store and Google play to communicate over BLE to the Spark Core.
Please remember that in today’s spark configuration, the Core checks WiFi before it runs the BLE module, so getting WiFi credentials over BLE would require that the BLE library is run before checking the WiFi.
In this integration, we will use the Phone to push WiFi credentials to the Spark at that point. WiFi interference is not a problem when the Phone is connected to the same WiFi access point or can see the access point the Spark is going to get connected to. During this time the phone will manage the BLE and keep it clear of the WiFi channels automatically.
During troubleshooting of WiFi the BLE can send status information of the WiFi to the end user’s phone so this provides a better interface, than just the LED.
My son has a disability and constantly misplaces his binder around school. I’ve 3D printed a three-ring binder case for the spark and battery. I was hoping to use the school’s wifi/routers to pinpoint where the binder is (closest IP address). That proved to be impossible with the school’s network and/or my programming fu.
I purchased six ibeacons hoping I could place them in the ceiling at various locations throughout the school and somehow get the spark (plus BLE) to send to the cloud the closest ibeacon id (I’m using estimotes). Would this (nRF8001 + library) possibly help me do this without a shield (trying to keep the whole package thin so it can fit inside the 3" binder rings)?