I am Eric Ely, the creator of Bluz. Ask Me Anything

The few we have talked to so far are on the Kickstarter page, notably Water Hero. Anyone building with Spark, though, and wanting to add Bluetooth should find it pretty seamless to pick up Bluz

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I’ve been doing it for 19 years now. I’m 33, so not that old. What are you trying to say here?!

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Hey, Eric.

I’m super stoked about Bluz.

This may be a bit premature, but where to you see Bluz going next? I know you’ve got a lot ahead of you to just finish the KS campaign and then just deliver on it. Strategically speaking, where would you like Bluz to be in a year? What other products are you interested in doing?

Ha, just saying I’m not getting any younger. The one thing I would have said is that it’s so much easier to try crazy things and start companies and run Kickstarters when you’re young and don’t have kids. Definitely the advice I will be giving to mine.

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Hey Eric! I’m really excited to get my BluzDK and build a simple robot. One question I was wondering but haven’t had the time to dig in and figure out is can the BluzDK run it’s own application software? If so how much flash/ram and what does the toolchain look like? Does the module support hardware PWM? Short answers are just fine I know I asked a trifecta. Thanks!

Ah, so many ideas…

I think, ultimately, bluz is a great stepping stone into IoT for us. We want to build it and we want to make it great, but selfishly so that we can build great products using it. We always wanted to give back to the open source community as we have gotten so much out of it, so bluz is about making a platform that is great for us and then opening it up to everyone else so they can build cool things too.

I definitely see us adding features and improving it over time, but I also see us using it ourselves to build awesome products.


Bluz has 32K RAM on board, 8K is taken by the BLE stack, so there is 24K left. 256k Flash, 88K for Soft Device, 16k for bootloader, so 152K left. The firmware will take up about the same as what the Spark FW does now, we take away the Wifi stuff but add the BLE stuff. So I don’t have exact numbers, but that is close.

PWM isn’t hardware and will be more limited than on the Core/Photon since we are simply dealing with less resourced MCU.


What advice do you have for other hardware developers thinking of launching a Kickstarter campaign?

How far will Bluz reach from the planned USB base station adapter?

Prepare, prepare, prepare. Kickstarter is actually really tough and often can be frustrating. It can just be so difficult to try and get press coverage and drive people to the site, so you need to be prepared for everything, especially for dealing with the frustrations of it.

It can also be a lot of fun too, but you need to prepare for that as well. You need to prepare what you will answer when people ask questions and prepare what you want to add to the campaign over time, 30 days is a long time when running a Kickstarter and you can run out of things to say and do quickly.


This is usually the standard answer when it comes to range, but it depends. Indoors, expect 60-80 feet typically. Outdoors, it will be more like 100-200 feet depending on line of sight. But results will always vary, 2.4GHz is fickle like that.


What did you learn during the GoGlove campaign that you’ve applied/are applying during the Bluz campaign?

How many personal projects have you made with Bluz (around home, just tinkering, etc)?

We actually ran GoGlove twice, the first time was unsuccessful (apparently selling gloves in July isn’t a good business model, who knew)

I think we learned a lot from the first one to the second one. The first one we tried to go cheap on the video, and didn’t really even have the actual gloves yet, just off-the-shelf ones that we bought and modified. We spent so much time just making it work, we never spent any time on the design. But people need to see the design as well.

So the second time for GoGlove we invested in a nice video and had real gloves ready to show, so it worked much better. For bluz, I think we just took that idea even further. Made nicer graphics on the page, did a real photo shoot, etc.

So I think we just refined a lot between GoGlove and Bluz.


A fair amount, but just little things. I have a son now who is 4, and it is so much fun to make things change or activate from across the room, his eyes just light up. So I spend a lot of time making little things with him trying to impress him and one-up myself. I think by the time he’s 12 I will have to build a real, walking talking robot or maybe Jarvis or something to impress him at the rate I am going…


Getting little technical.

I funded for RFduino before and got disappointed after knowing that it won’t be able to scan other beacons.

You said you are using s110 softdevice for DKs. I guess you are going to use Timeslot APIs to create mesh. Are you planning to expose Timeslot APIs ? Will DK be able to scan (or observe?) beacons from other manufacturers and broadcast the RSSI it received?

To keep this short, will I be able to scan beacons from other manufacturers with the APIs you provide?


Well first, we have to hit that stretch goal to support mesh, so help spread the word! (yes, shameless plug, sorry).

Anyway, to your question. We are planning to add wrappers around pretty much any functionality that we need. You will also be able to call the Nordic SDK directly, if you want. So as long as the SDK can do it, you can do it on bluz. Now our wrapper may not be there for everything on day one, but we will be adding more to it over time.


I’ll help spreading the word as much as possible but do you plan to implement mesh even if you don’t reach 100K goal? 75K should’ve been the goal for mesh

I think eventually, yeah, we may support it. The stretch goal brings it to the front burner and we would have delivered it when the product shipped. But even if we don’t hit the stretch goal, we will probably support it eventually (I want to use it!).

But shhhh, don’t tell anyone that :wink:

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