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Serial Communication with Bluetooth Low Energy
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Serial Communication with Bluetooth Low Energy



Aaron, 

For your request about "Serial Communication" you can definitely use Bluetooth Low Energy. 
However, as a rule of thumb do not use BTLE for anything more than simple signaling requiring less than ~17kbps. 
This means sending voice or transferring large data files is really not practical. Also, for the iPhone the latency could be around 37.5ms (that appears to be the smallest connection interval that is officially supported although I have seen an iPad connect at 20ms)

I know that Wikepedia will give you the first impression that you can approach 300kbps, but this is not the case. At least not in communication with the iPhone.  

Read this link.
http://e2e.ti.com/support/low_power_rf/f/538/t/138509.aspx


For us the speed limit is that we send packets of size 20 bytes. 4 Packets get sent during each connection interval. The smallest connection interval is 37.5ms. So 20 bytes/packet x 4 packets x 1000/37.5ms x 8 bytes = 17kbps.  

If I am wrong, I would love to know it. 


Anders Grunnet-Jepsen


On Nov 15, 2012, at 12:00 PM, email@hidden wrote:

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Today's Topics:

  1. Re: (Aaron Taylor)
  2. Re: (Josh Marinacci)



From: Aaron Taylor <email@hidden>
Subject: Re:
Date: November 15, 2012 10:37:52 AM PST
To: Etan Kissling <email@hidden>
Cc: email@hidden


Thank you for your reply.  The 'serial communication' thing is what's going to snag me, as basically we need to transfer serial data between the hardware and ios device (which sounds like it requires MFI).  I'll contact them and see what I can find out regarding that.  Thanks to everyone that replied to me.

Aaron

--- On Thu, 11/15/12, Etan Kissling <email@hidden> wrote:

From: Etan Kissling <email@hidden>
Subject: Re:
To: "Aaron Taylor" <email@hidden>
Cc: "email@hidden" <email@hidden>
Date: Thursday, November 15, 2012, 4:23 AM

Aaron,

it's simple:

- Bluetooth LE does not require MFi and you can run any profiles over it ( also custom defined ones)

- Bluetooth BR/EDR standard profiles do not require MFi licensing. Consult the apple pages for supported protocols. For example, headsets can be run over these profiles.

- Bluetooth BR/EDR iAP profile gives you a serial connection over which you can send any data you want. However, you will need to join MFi for this. MFi licensing fees vary depending on how big your company is and what you want to do and a join to the program can also be free in some cases. Just try applying for it and if it's too expensive you can still step back.

Etan

On 15.11.2012, at 07:02, "Aaron Taylor" <email@hidden> wrote:

I was browsing the archives and had the exact same question as the person below (which went unanswered in August).  Does anyone have feedback?  I basically want to do the same thing but my product won't be a huge mass produced item (1000 or less probably for a niche market) so the rumored cost of the MFI program make it hard to justify unfortunately.  I was hoping to do iOS but unless I can come up with a definite answer here I'll have to use android instead (which I really don't want to do).  All of the info I've read online paint an murky picture of 3rd party bluetooth 4.0 devices and getting your app into the b2b store that use them.  Thanks


Aaron




Hello:   

 

I have plans to develop a consumer-oriented wearable device that will communicate with and be controlled by an iOS app.  Therefore  I need to make sure that the Bluetooth module I select for inclusion within my device will conform to Apple’s requirements.

 

My device will be battery powered, and thus needs to use low power components, so I intend to use only the Low Energy (LE) portion of the Bluetooth stack.   Therefore the device will be designed to communicate with an iOS app running on any Bluetooth 4.0 capable Apple device (e.g., iPhone 4s, etc.).  

 

Some questions:

 

First, is it the case that if I implement only the Low Energy portion of Bluetooth, that I will not need to participate in Apple’s MFI program?   And also is it the case that my device will not have to include the Apple Bluetooth authentication chip?

 

Can you give me a list of the Bluetooth features/capabilities that my device will have to support?  Please note that my device would likely fit under the category of “Health/Fitness” devices, and will  not carry any media/voice/video, etc.,   It will only transmit small amounts of usage data to the iOS device (maybe at 5Hz or 10Hz rate?).   The iOS device would transmit configuration data to the device on a sporadic basis (i.e., when the user makes changes within the iOS app).

 

I assume you’re not in the business of referring Bluetooth manufacturers/components, etc., but if you could, I’m all ears!

 

Any information/links/examples that more closely match what I’m trying to do would be most helpful.

 

Thanks!


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From: Josh Marinacci <email@hidden>
Subject: Re:
Date: November 15, 2012 10:52:11 AM PST
To: Aaron Taylor <email@hidden>
Cc: email@hidden


Depending on the transfer rate you could use BLE for that. Some people have had success creating a BLE profile which transfers small amounts of data in chunks.  The data rate is slow, but for simple things it works pretty well. One project has used it to let an iPhone communicate with an Arduino, even.

-- 
Josh Marinacci
joshondesign.com

On Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 10:37 AM, Aaron Taylor wrote:

Thank you for your reply.  The 'serial communication' thing is what's going to snag me, as basically we need to transfer serial data between the hardware and ios device (which sounds like it requires MFI).  I'll contact them and see what I can find out regarding that.  Thanks to everyone that replied to me.

Aaron

--- On Thu, 11/15/12, Etan Kissling <email@hidden> wrote:

From: Etan Kissling <email@hidden>
Subject: Re:
To: "Aaron Taylor" <email@hidden>
Cc: "email@hidden" <email@hidden>
Date: Thursday, November 15, 2012, 4:23 AM

Aaron,

it's simple:

- Bluetooth LE does not require MFi and you can run any profiles over it ( also custom defined ones)

- Bluetooth BR/EDR standard profiles do not require MFi licensing. Consult the apple pages for supported protocols. For example, headsets can be run over these profiles.

- Bluetooth BR/EDR iAP profile gives you a serial connection over which you can send any data you want. However, you will need to join MFi for this. MFi licensing fees vary depending on how big your company is and what you want to do and a join to the program can also be free in some cases. Just try applying for it and if it's too expensive you can still step back.

Etan

On 15.11.2012, at 07:02, "Aaron Taylor" <email@hidden> wrote:

I was browsing the archives and had the exact same question as the person below (which went unanswered in August).  Does anyone have feedback?  I basically want to do the same thing but my product won't be a huge mass produced item (1000 or less probably for a niche market) so the rumored cost of the MFI program make it hard to justify unfortunately.  I was hoping to do iOS but unless I can come up with a definite answer here I'll have to use android instead (which I really don't want to do).  All of the info I've read online paint an murky picture of 3rd party bluetooth 4.0 devices and getting your app into the b2b store that use them.  Thanks


Aaron




Hello:   

 

I have plans to develop a consumer-oriented wearable device that will communicate with and be controlled by an iOS app.  Therefore  I need to make sure that the Bluetooth module I select for inclusion within my device will conform to Apple’s requirements.

 

My device will be battery powered, and thus needs to use low power components, so I intend to use only the Low Energy (LE) portion of the Bluetooth stack.   Therefore the device will be designed to communicate with an iOS app running on any Bluetooth 4.0 capable Apple device (e.g., iPhone 4s, etc.).  

 

Some questions:

 

First, is it the case that if I implement only the Low Energy portion of Bluetooth, that I will not need to participate in Apple’s MFI program?   And also is it the case that my device will not have to include the Apple Bluetooth authentication chip?

 

Can you give me a list of the Bluetooth features/capabilities that my device will have to support?  Please note that my device would likely fit under the category of “Health/Fitness” devices, and will  not carry any media/voice/video, etc.,   It will only transmit small amounts of usage data to the iOS device (maybe at 5Hz or 10Hz rate?).   The iOS device would transmit configuration data to the device on a sporadic basis (i.e., when the user makes changes within the iOS app).

 

I assume you’re not in the business of referring Bluetooth manufacturers/components, etc., but if you could, I’m all ears!

 

Any information/links/examples that more closely match what I’m trying to do would be most helpful.

 

Thanks!


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ThinkOptics, Inc.
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email@hidden
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