The LightBlue Bean+ is an Arduino-compatible development board from PunchThrough Design that you program wirelessly using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). The Bean+ was specifically designed to get your BLE project up and running as quickly as possible, and that’s why PunchThrough has included an onboard lithium polymer battery, solderless headers and even a pair of Grove connectors. The board includes a temperature sensor and an accelerometer, as well as a tricolor LED, which means there are enough inputs and outputs onboard so you can start programming out of the box without the need for any add-on boards!
The Bean+ can be programmed from your favorite platforms: OS X, Windows, iOS and Android. All programming is done wirelessly, and you can even program multiple boards at once — all thanks to the LBM313 BLE module on the Bean+. PunchThrough has also provided the Bean Loader for Windows and OS X, which relies on the Arduino IDE to compile your Arduino sketches and for other programming purposes. Additionally, with its RF amplifier, the Bean+ can communicate with other Bean+ units from up to 400 meters (1,300 feet) under ideal conditions, or 250 meters (820 feet) to your smartphone.
Every Bean+ has a 600mAh rechargeable battery, running for longer than a year on one charge when programmed with a low-power sketch. The added microUSB port allows you to charge the Bean+ wherever you go. The Bean+ even has a switch that lets you choose between 3.3V or 5V as the operating voltage. So no more voltage level translation to make the Bean+ work with your favorite accessories.
Note: This item may take longer to process due to battery installed in the equipment, and therefore does not qualify for same-day shipping policy. Additionally, this board cannot be shipped via Ground or Economy methods to Alaska or Hawaii. Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.
If a board needs code or communicates somehow, you're going to need to know how to program or interface with it. The programming skill is all about communication and code.
Skill Level: Rookie - You will need a better fundamental understand of what code is, and how it works. You will be using beginner-level software and development tools like Arduino. You will be dealing directly with code, but numerous examples and libraries are available. Sensors or shields will communicate with serial or TTL.
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If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.
Skill Level: Rookie - You may be required to know a bit more about the component, such as orientation, or how to hook it up, in addition to power requirements. You will need to understand polarized components.
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Based on 1 ratings:
I really wanted to like this little device, but there are a few problems.
1. it took over a week to get hold of support, and I had to send sparkfun an email complaining about vendor support before I got anyone to respond to the chat group or the emails I sent in. 2. This talks bluetooth and serial. It really needs a wifi or zwave radio as well. That way It could talk to my other bluetooth devices and attach to my existing home zwave or wifi network.
3. the accelerometer was flaky. sometimes it would respond to gestures sometimes it would just ignore me.
depending on your project it might be ok. But for mine, the items above (especially #2) were deal breakers.