Bluetooth Smart software development kit for Arduino projects

February 17, 2014 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
Nordic Semiconductor ASA has announced a Bluetooth® Smart software development kit (SDK) for Arduino-based projects, which is compatible with a range of Arduino, ChipKIT shields that employ the nRF8001 Bluetooth Smart connectivity device.

Currently over 300,000 Arduino boards have been produced and are supported by a wide range of 'shields' that enable a modular approach to prototyping. Shields perform individual or combined hardware tasks and can be connected to Arduino-compatible boards using the standard Arduino interface format. Shields are available from many manufacturers and fulfill tasks such as sensors, motor-driving circuitry, LCD display, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth wireless technology, and Ethernet among others.

The Bluetooth Smart SDK is a port of the existing SDK available for the nRF8001 Bluetooth Smart connectivity device. The Bluetooth Smart SDK is available as a repository on GitHub where subscribers can fork their own versions and make pull requests and contribute to further improve and expand the SDK.

Support for the SDK is available at the Nordic Developer Zone (devzone.nordicsemi.com), a popular forum where developers using Nordic products can discuss solutions to challenges and share ideas.

The SDK contains many different examples including: Human Interface Device (HID); UART over Bluetooth low energy; Heart Rate Monitor (HRM); Temperature; and Proximity.

The software interface for the Bluetooth Smart SDK for Arduino has also been implemented on a variety of microcontrollers and microcontroller platforms such as ChipKIT, Maple, Teensy, mbed, and others. This wide coverage makes it easy to move a project that has been prototyped on the Arduino platform to platform and microcontroller of the engineer's choice.

The Bluetooth Smart SDK is complemented by the Bluetooth Smart BLE Arduino shield from Red Bear Lab. The BLE shield board complies to the Arduino form factor and contains all necessary circuitry to enable an Arduino project to start communicating with Bluetooth Smart Ready products such as an iPhone® 4S or later, smartphones using Android 4.3 or later, OS X Mountain Lion and later, as well as Windows 8 and later.

"Arduino has grown steadily in popularity over recent years," says Thomas Bonnerud, Director of Product Management with Nordic Semiconductor. "It has provided a very