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How Bluetooth Low Energy Works: Advertisements (Part 2)

By Mohammad Afaneh | May 12, 2020 |

In this week’s post, we’ll continue our discussion on Bluetooth Advertisements (first part here) and cover them in a bit more detail. Bluetooth Advertisements are crucial for any BLE device since they are utilized for all types of applications, whether that’s a device that allows connections or one that simply advertises its presence and includes data for others to discover. In order to utilize advertising packets efficiently, we need to understand the way they get used, the different capabilities they provide, the format of the packets, and how much data they can hold. The most important goal of advertising packets…

Introduction to BLE Mobile Development [iOS] – Part 2

By Mohammad Afaneh | May 5, 2020 |

This post is an excerpt from a course developed by Anas Imtiaz, Ph.D. which is available within the Bluetooth Developer Academy. In a previous post (Introduction to BLE Mobile Development for iOS), we covered: Setting up Xcode for BLE development Bluetooth permissions Scanning for BLE peripherals Connecting to a BLE peripheral In today’s post, we will take this a step further and look at developing a UI-based iOS app (using SwiftUI) that can perform most of the previous functionalities, with some additional features: Display the status of Bluetooth on the device (turned on or off) Act as a Central to…

How Bluetooth Low Energy Works: 21 Interesting Facts

By Mohammad Afaneh | April 28, 2020 |

Whether you’re a beginner or an expert in Bluetooth Low Energy development, it’s always good to take a step back and revisit some of the basics and facts. In this post, I’ll be going through a list of 21 facts about Bluetooth Low Energy technology. You may know about all of these, but it’s always good to get a refresher from time to time. Bluetooth Low Energy is backward-compatibleWhat this means is that if you develop a BLE device today that is running the latest version of Bluetooth (5.2), you are guaranteed that you can interact with another BLE device…

How Bluetooth Low Energy Works: Advertisements (Part 1)

By Mohammad Afaneh | April 21, 2020 |

To fully understand advertisements in BLE, we need to take a step back and learn about one of the layers within the architecture of BLE: the Generic Access Profile (GAP). GAP provides a framework that defines how BLE devices interact with each other. This includes: Roles of BLE devices Advertisements (Broadcasting, Discovery, Advertisement parameters, Advertisement data) Connection establishment (initiating connections, accepting connections, Connection parameters) Security There are four main GAP roles that a BLE device operates in: Central: a device that discovers BLE peripherals and broadcasters with the capability of connecting to peripherals. Peripheral: a device that advertises its existence…

A Deep Dive Into Eddystone Beacons (nRF52 + Zephyr use case)

By Mohammad Afaneh | April 14, 2020 |

As a continuation of our series on Bluetooth beacons (part 1 here, part 2 here, and part 3 here), today we’ll be covering Google’s Eddystone standard in more detail along with implementation. The Eddystone standard was released as an alternative and competitor to Apple’s iBeacon standard. It provides similar functionality to iBeacon, but also goes a step beyond and adds some unique features. With Eddystone, you can still build similar functionality to include two levels of hierarchy. This includes a 16-byte Beacon ID which is composed of a 10-byte namespace and a 6-byte instance. Eddystone provides four frame types: Eddystone-UID:…

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