Bluetooth Gateway Smart Starter Kit navigates home automation

Low-power Bluetooth comms are a well-established known entity, but with the increasingly prevalence of all things IoT, are you aware of how to interface them to the Internet, Web and Clouds? It can be done in various ways and the Bluetooth SIG is aiming to simplify or clarify the path with its Gateway Smart Starter Kit.

NaviBLE - Bluetooth Gateway Smart Starter KitThis is the boast:

This kit shows you how to move data from all of your Bluetooth sensors into the cloud without a mobile device while giving you the ability to control all of them from one place.

The guide shows how to connect Bluetooth devices or sensors to the web using Bluetooth GAP/GATT RESTful APIs, using a Bluetooth gateway on a Raspberry Pi board. Further, it shows how to communicate and control these devices from the Web.

Basically, it is a detailed guide for developers, complete with step through explanations and working code, to hold your hand for home automation. We’ve covered quite a lot about Home Automation on Gadget Master (whether by Google, Apple, Samsung or via Z-Wave), and this is a potential resource for brewing your own.

JSON and Java

The kit’s zip file includes an introductory ‘Bluetooth Gateway Smart Starter Kit’ Word document, various JSON and Java files, and some HTML templates to get you up and running.

There are two elements to the example project: a front-end web server (NaviBLE) which responds to user requests and routes those request to the corresponding handlers at the gateway server, and also a Gateway server that will be interacting with the target devices and handle the read/write requests.

The idea is that you can use the NaviBLE website to explore the services and characteristics supported by any Bluetooth devices connected to your Bluetooth Gateway.

The guide shows you how to create a page with buttons that allow you to get temperature, accelerometer, and LED data.

Main steps

The main steps involved are:

  1. Raspberry Pi 2 Model BInstalling the Bluetooth Gateway on a Raspberry Pi
  2. Setting up our NaviBLE project
  3. Using NaviBLE to list services offered by connected devices
  4. Using NaviBLE to list characteristics of each service
  5. Using NaviBLE to updated characteristics of a service
  6. Using JavaScript libraries with NaviBLE

The gateway works by scanning for Bluetooth devices. When it finds a device, the gateway caches the data structure of the services and characteristics supported by the device. When an HTTP request for the data structure is processed by the gateway, it responds to most of these requests from the cached data. When there’s request for the real data from the target devices, the gateway will start a connection and get/set the data immediately.

You can download the kit from the Bluetooth SIG website »

“We heard the demand for gateway functionality, not just from our members, but from consumers, who want a connected home but are not satisfied with current capabilities,” said Steve Hegenderfer, director of developer programs for the Bluetooth SIG.

“People want to monitor their home security system from their couch and office. The Bluetooth Internet gateway architecture provides a standard way for any developer to create this gateway functionality. Routers, thermostats, security systems – the always on, always connected infrastructure in the home – can now speak to and control tiny, low power sensors and relay that information to the cloud, providing control from anywhere.”

Smart home developers

Bluetooth Smart ReadyThe target audience is “smart home developers” looking to create a hub for all the sensors in a home, or to integrate gateway functionality into existing products.

“The key value promised by the IoT is that we can make life a little better by linking technologies and giving people more knowledge and control,” said Errett Kroeter, Bluetooth SIG vice president of marketing. “Our new Bluetooth gateway architecture enables the IoT to do just that. We are extending the monitoring and control of Bluetooth enabled sensor devices to the cloud and making the data accessible.”

Note that the Gateway Smart Starter Kit isn’t the only such new kit for developers from the SIG.

They’ve also released a Beacon Smart Starter Kit, for adding Bluetooth beacon technology into existing apps, and Application Accelerator 2.0, for creating code for Bluetooth apps running on tablets, smartphones, or PCs across Windows 10, iOS 9 in Swift and Android 6.0.

See also: What is… BlueDroid (Eyes on Android)

See also: What is… a GATT Service (Bluetooth Smart) (Eyes on Android)

 


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