5 IoT applications to connect your Bluetooth tags

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04 min.

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Beginner
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There are many applications on the market to connect and set up Low Energy Bluetooth Tags – Learn more about BLE, so it is not always easy to know which one to choose. What important features should an IoT application have? How far can I go in setting up Bluetooth tags? To help you here are 5 applications screened by the R&D team.

nRF Connect – Android & iOS

Screenshot nRF Connect

The “nRF connect”application is a good entry point into the world of Bluetooth. It allows you to perform operations such as scanning, discovering and debugging your Bluetooth Low Energy devices. Whether you are a developer or simply curious, you will have through it a wide range of features.

This application supports a good number of Bluetooth GIS Profiles, and in particular allows to perform operations related to Nordic hardware (which also develops this application). Its main assets are :

  • Scan Bluetooth Low Energy devices
  • Allow the parsing of Advertising data
  • RSSI (Received Signal Strength Indicator) graph monitoring
  • Discovery and parsing of services and features
  • Allows you to read and write characteristics
  • And many more…

It is a very good entry point for all those who wish to dive into the world of BLE.

LightBlue– Android & iOS

Screenshot LightBlue

The “LightBlue” application allows, like the previous one, to carry out many operations around the BLE technology. A little less “User Friendly” and less complete, it is still a must for simple operations:

  • Scan BLE devices
  • Discovery of BLE’s services and features
  • Explore in-depth information related to services and features
  • Display the current RSSI of the Device BLE

Ble Scanner – Android & iOS

Screenshot BLE Scanner

Another application that allows you to use your phone as a Bluetooth scanner. “Ble Scanner” is quite similar to the previous ones and allows to realize the functionalities that everyone expects from this kind of applications :

  • Scan BLE devices
  • Discovery of BLE’s services and features
  • Access to services and features
  • Display the current RSSI of the Device BLE

However the user experience and its designare a little more polished. The little extra that distinguishes it is the radar that allows you to play with the RSSI level to tell you if the tags are more or less close.

nRF Toolbox – Android

Screenshot nRF Toolbox

“nRF Toolbox” is an application that differs from those presented above. It works with a wide range of BLE accessories.

Packaged in the form of buttons, the main test “apps” mostly illustrate the BLE Profiles. health-oriented such as: speed and pace of a cyclist, heart rate monitor, thermometer, glucose meters … (BLE Profiles: Cycling Speed and Cadence, Heal Rate Monitor, Health Thermometer, Glucose Monitor …).

For Nordic chip users, it also makes it possible to use Nordic’s Uart service. The interface then allows you to define commands to write via the service and receive data. Convenient for developers, it allows you to automate commands when you are connected to your device.

Last but not least, the DFU (Device Firmware Update) profile is also included. It allows you to download the image of the Over The Air (OTA) application. It is compatible with Nordic Semi-Conductor nRF5x chips on which the SoftDevice and Boorloader DFU is installed.

Bluetooth LE Explorer – Windows 10

bluetooth-le-explorer-application-winows10

A small Windows 10 application to finish. Few are available with good ergonomics, “Bluetooth LEExplorer” is a fairly simple one that allows you to discover your devices and navigate through the Services and Features. However, it allows you to perform basic functions through its interface :

  • Use the interface to connect to already paired devices
  • Listing of services and features
  • Reading and writing characteristics

Things to remember

The applications on the market offer more or less the same functionalities, the difference will then play on the user experience and the design.

Furthermore, it is important to note that some of them, such as the “nRF Toolbox” application, are more dedicated to developers, while others will be simple enough to be used by people with no technical knowledge.

mathieu ABET
ABET Mathieu
Software Engineer
Software development engineer at Ela innovation, Mathieu studied at the University of Montpellier 2 where he received his Master’s degree in Automated Systems. He quickly joined the corporate world as a software developer. Through various professional experiences, he dives into different fields such as semiconductor, medical or banking. Curious and passionate about technology, it was only natural that he became interested in connected objects and joined ELA innovation to work on the Bluetooth range.

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