The Spark ecosystem is growing. Announcing Bluz, a Spark-powered BLE dev kit for creating Bluetooth Low Energy connected products. But this time, we didn’t make it - one of you did. Bluz is the first Spark Compound - a product in the Spark ecosystem created not by us, but by you. And we hope it’s the first of many.
Bluz: the first Spark Compound
Back in summer 2014, a gentleman named Eric Ely (@eely22 here in the forum) started a thread about SparkLE in our forums, and quickly got some great feedback for a BLE-powered Spark Core clone. To date, the thread has 109 posts and 2.2K views, and 26 community members have leaned in to provide feedback. Lots of people wanted SparkLE.
A few months later, Eric and his cousin Ben launched GoGlove, a SparkLE-powered wearable remote, on Kickstarter. Once the campaign was successfully funded, Eric approached our team about commercializing SparkLE. We gave him the go ahead. He renamed it Bluz and started generating some buzz for the project.
Eric (@eely22) has been fantastic to work with. He’s a talented engineer, and he’s done a great job of porting the Spark “experience” to BLE while adding a unique set of features that make Bluz really compelling on its own. Bluz can run for months on a coin cell battery. It can communicate with a computer, a smartphone, or directly to the cloud (using a Core/Photon/Electron as a gateway). Because Bluz is part Spark, it will integrate completely and seamlessly into the Spark environment. You can use the same Web IDE, Webhooks, Dashboard, Tinker app, SparkJS, and all the other Spark tools. And it hits all the criteria for a great dev kit: it’s easy to use, affordable, and open source. You should seriously consider grabbing a few.
A call for Compounds
Bluz is the first-ever “Compound” - a board that joins the Spark ecosystem but is not of our making. Bluz is part us and part Eric - a “compound” of the two. It’s a better product than either of us could have made on our own, and we hope to see more of them.
We’d love to see other Compounds, and if you’re interested in making one, we’d love to support it. Consider this a call for Compounds.
If you want to make a dev kit that’s powered by Spark, here’s what you should do:
- Create a thread here on our community forum to present your idea
- Collect feedback to see if it has legs
- If there’s clear interest from the community, come talk to us
- We’ll help with your Kickstarter campaign and provide advice on supply chain, manufacturing, logistics, and distribution
- We charge a flat $2/device to provide access to our cloud platform (a one-time fee which covers the device for its entire lifetime)
Do you want to see Spark in new environments? Ethernet? Mesh? Sub-ghz? Come tell us about your ideas and we’ll help you bring them to life!