BLE Central Mode


#13

Jonathan, sounds like the new devices will be able to communicate with a Particle BluzDK.
Will the Argon be not able to act as a gateway for the BluzDK… eventually?
I currently use BluzDKs as I may use Xenons in the future; as sensor nodes. The Bluz Gateway works great for now (up to 5 BluzDKs), but I was hoping to evolve my implementations by replacing it with Argons.
I read the FAQ that says “Nothing!” is happening with the Photon/Electron (BTW: I am crushed you did not mention the BluzDK), but I am starting to think “nothing” is a red flag (ok, maybe yellow).
I am trying to figure out if I am stuck holding a bag of fading Photons and Bluz modules or there are plans to breath new life into the previous generation.

I am enthusiastic about the new products and Particle’s efforts to integrate offerings from Adafruit. Great team work!

Thanks,
Pescatore

EDIT: …sounds like the new devices will NOT be able to communicate…


#14

As the creator of bluz, I can provide some answers here.

We are also evaluating the new hardware and what it means to bluz. The primary focus of these boards at their launch will not necessarily include generalized BLE support, which would mean they could not operate as a gateway solution for bluz until that is available. However, they do run the Nordic chipset (same as bluz) and can act as a gateway from a hardware perspective, so we would expect to be able to use them as gateways for bluz at some point. As we have expertise in supporting the Nordic stack and BLE in general, it is possible we could even accelerate the BLE features on this new hardware. These are all things we are currently looking into.

I can say that we absolutely do not plan to leave our customers without a plan forward. Our hardware and firmware are still fully functional today, and you can expect they will still be functional years from now, so the hardware will continue to be supported. While this new hardware is certainly exciting (I placed my pre-order within the first hour!), it also won’t be available for months, so things will continue to operate normally for bluz. As we figure out how this new hardware fits our story over the coming months, we will be sure to keep everyone in the loop.


#15

Thanks, Bluz Team, that sounds like good news for us guys who would really like to see the full potential of the BLE 5.0 tech available for use on the new boards when they eventually are ready.

From what I have read so far the BLE 5 or BLE, in general, has a much lower power requirement compared to the 802.11 Mesh protocol. It would be nice to pass data between the new devices using the Low Power BLE 5 with it’s new lower bitrate longer range functions if you guys tackle that :slight_smile:

Please do keep us in the loop if you start working on this.


#16

Like MikeWhitten, we see central mode as critical. We’re using redbear duo’s to do this today in the healthcare space, where we use COTs beacons (Ruuvi and Estimote) as wearable devices. I see lot of applications for this model in healthcare, manufacturing, building automation, and beyond.

If you assume the end device is another particle mesh device, that could be a big limiter. These beacons have made big jumps in battery life (years) and range (100’s of meters), which makes them really useful and an awesome extension to particle connectivity.

Also, I think you acquired RedBear since your mesh announcement? It would be nice to see RedBear (or its functionality) included in the new release. Out of curiosity, has this changed anything?

We love what you are doing! Keep up the awesome work.


#17

+1 on the BLE central mode

We have a wide deployment of custom BLE sensors deployed in the field. We’ve looked at using Particle in the past to connect these to the cloud, but the lack of BLE support has been a deal-killer.

With this new mesh generation we really hope that Particle will implement the ability to collect advertised data and connections to BLE peripherals as noted in this thread. That would be hugely attractive!

-AD


#18

I stopped using Particle (Redbear duo) because (lack) of this. I am part of the second mfg run because of this. Please, please ! Give us BLE central !

/Claudio


#19

Hello @jberi , in light of what was announced last night on the Bluz forum, is there more you can tell us about the plans for BLE for the new generation?


#20

+2 On including common BLE functionality.


#21

+3 and I am sure many more on standard BLE functionality.


#22

Like the others I am keen to use BLE on Xenon’s in particular. Indeed I ordered a number before I became aware that BLE would not be available on the initial firmware.

On the other hand I appreciate that Particle focussed on getting the initial firmware solid.

Is there any planned schedule available for the introduction of BLE in the firmware? (I need to decide whether to add an additional board with BLE or possibly move to an alternative processor family entirely).


Particle Mesh - Bluetooth
Boron + 5-Xenon Setup Questions
#23

Hey folks – Bluetooth APIs for Mesh are on our radar and will be one of the first new features added to the Device OS beyond stability improvements to the existing Particle Mesh functionality. Learning from the preorder process, it’s too early in the design and execution process for us to commit to a timeline.

Specifically for RedBear, we have committed to the following:

  • Sales of RedBear hardware through the end of Q1 2019 (with a last buy on 3/29/19)
  • Support of RedBear hardware through the end of Q3 2019

Our intention is to create a transition path for RedBear customers, which relies on the Argon and the Xenon to provide equivalent functionality to the Duo and Nano. Obviously, that is not possible without support for Bluetooth APIs, which hopefully gives you a sense of our intended timeline for shipping these features to the community.


Required to always have a Boron or Argon?
#24

I concur with the desire for full bluetooth support with Mesh. You might consider a phased approach starting with the ability to rx advertisements and customize tx advertisements followed by support for characteristics.


#25

Beauty of open source is for you to tinker without waiting.

There’s a WIP branch:


#26

Thanks for the tip on the ble branch. Is there any preliminary docs on the api?

I tried to build the branch on osx but get an error described here: Build Error on OSX - can't find rsa.h.


#27

Add another request for this feature to the list. I pre-ordered several mesh hardware kits the day they were announced, and they’re still sitting in the boxes unopened because they lack this capability. An easy way to scan for nearby advertising beacons/sensor tags seems like a no-brainer. Our business sorely needs an easy way to do BLE scanning with a cellular connection (especially cat m1/nb-iot), and this feature would bring us back to Particle the day it was available.


#28

Also add me to the list of needing this feature.


#29

Any updates?


#30

Ditto…Redbear DUO is sun-setting and we need time to move over to Argon.


#31

Hello. Did they answer you, and if so, what did they say about this?


#32

The BLE API is actively being worked on but I haven’t heard of a targeted release date, probably because it hasn’t been nailed down yet. Mesh/connectivity stability is the Numbah One Thing, and I think that BLE is #2.