Xenon BLE Peripheral role


#1

@jberi will I be able to connect the Xenon device to a phone as a peripheral over BLE?


Xenon with Android phone via BLE
#2

Let me ping someone that might be able to help, @rickkas7 or @ParticleD are you able to assist?


#3

We talked here about which Bluetooth features we plan to include when we ship and what we hope to add over time. But to quote myself :slight_smile::

We generally try to be thoughtful about which features we add to our Device OS because more features means more flash and RAM used by the system and less resources available to your application. Since the primary role of Bluetooth in Particle Mesh is for device setup and diagnostics, we don’t plan to support generalized and broad Bluetooth functionality when we ship…In the fullness of time, we’d like to add API support for Bluetooth. However, we will be focusing our efforts for the initial release on the primary use case of device setup and diagnostics over Bluetooth. We have other ideas on how we can leverage Bluetooth that will also not be included at launch.

What use case do you have in mind that would use the BLE Peripheral role?


#4

Thanks for the response!
I just want to connect to a custom mobile app (Android and iOS) and send commands to the Particle device using just bluetooth similar to Spark.function(“funcName”, funcName);


#5

This is also what I need. I got 10 pieces, but they are useless without this feature. The Mesh connectivity will be grandios but it should be initiated by a Smartphone and also without network connectivity.

Updating can be then made using an Argon or Boron.

Regards

Waldemar


#6

Same. Without being able to connect a custom app to the device then the device is useless. Transparent UART is fine, if there were hooks in firmware to call functions with parameters then that’s even better.


#7

Just semantics, but that may be true for your use cases, but that doesn’t make the device in itself useless.

However, it was said often enough I think that is a top priority feature that will come as soon core features and stability are allowing for moving on to implement it.


#8

True. I’m sure there is some industrial use case that this whole mesh journey started on as a cornerstone client.

I waited 18 months for BT to be added to Particle. I used a microchip RN4870 BT module as a stop gap, but that costs an extra $10 per unit on top of a P1 that cost another $10 and overall doesn’t have the range of BT hub features I want to deploy. My competition meanwhile built a new generation on ESP32 and are doing very well.

So now I’m halfway through a project with devs in Ireland to build me an ESP32 with the appropriate services. On ESP32 the BT stack chews a lot of memory but still has room for MQTT client and server (ie not only can it push events but can be controlled via MQTT from a smart phone app as though it was a serial device. very cool). There have been a number of issues identified by a couple companies I know but at least those issues now have solutions.


#9

Just wanted to highlight this branch in case you’re keen to get it working before it’s officially available (read: possibly lots of pitfalls for now):


#10

Hah, not that good at C, and if I hired someone then probably would turn out to be inefficient / stepping on particle toes

Even if we got firmware working:

  • there is no dates or pricing on the Xenon systems on a module chips. I haven’t even received my xenon dev pack I ordered in ?feb? and its middle of december so even if there was a date it’ll be aspirational at best.
  • xenon has a bunch of cool mesh features and hardware decisions I don’t need or want to pay for
  • trade war with US is making life more expensive, so to avoid the increasing tax I need to get my current PCBA to get the import-export processing license, and this isn’t trivial to get or maintain

anyways, wish them the best of luck. i’ll keep trucking along with P1’s for the time being until Particle or I come up with an ESP32 only solution with BLE hub and cloud

update: Should clarify, I’d pay for the xenon SoM if they were available already and BLE was working and it was not more than say 10% of my current P1 + RN4870 cost base. Simpler to keep on the same platform and supplier.


#11

If you haven’t received your preorder, please send a note to our Support Team and we will provide you an update on your order.


#12

In the IOT world I get the feeling we tend to forget it is meant to be used in real live. I work for Bolides, I Belgium car sharing company. We have a custom BLE hardware to open cars of all brands. One of our clients is Mercedes. As cars are often parked in underground parkings where no cellular or wifi is available it is essential the car can be opened without internet connectivity. I have been working with Particle for years and the mesh made me switch gears and implement more. But it is really essential that a custom mobile app can be put into the mesh, like a Xenon. Evan better act like an Argon as a bridge to the internet or temporary storage for offline use cases. Later to be send to the particle cloud and my servers. The custom hardware we have now works very reliable because we do not deal with internet. However we would like to have more upgrade and logging options. This is where particle shines but then the custom app should be able to communicate using only BLE.
@jberi I hope you can give a timeline for this feature as I need to make a hardware selection before june. Without this we will be forced to keep using our custom hardware.

update It seams to be on the timeline for 1.2 BLE Central Mode by @ rickkas7