Hardware, Software & the Internet of Things
June 23–25, 2015 • San Francisco, CA

Hands-on Bluetooth low energy

Don Coleman (Chariot Solutions), Alasdair Allan (Babilim Light Industries), Sandeep Mistry (Arduino)
1:30pm–5:00pm Tuesday, 06/23/2015
Tutorial, Technology
Location: Herbst Pavilion
Average rating: ****.
(4.67, 30 ratings)

Prerequisite Knowledge

Ideally attendees will be familiar with at least one programming language. No hardware or Bluetooth LE experience is required.

Materials or downloads needed in advance

In order to get the most of the class, we’re asking everyone to install the software before the tutorial. It’s important that you follow this guide and have you computer setup before you arrive. http://solidcon-ble.s3.amazonaws.com/software-install.pdf


You’ve heard a lot about Bluetooth low energy, but do you understand how it works? This workshop will give you a chance to get hands-on experience building a Bluetooth smart device and an iPhone or Android application to control it.

We will cover Bluetooth LE concepts like services and characteristics while we are building the hardware and software. The peripheral will be built with Arduino-compatible hardware and a Nordic Bluetooth LE radio. We will use open source libraries and tools to define a custom Bluetooth LE service to control the hardware. No soldering will be required.

The phone application will be written with Apache Cordova so it will run on iOS or Android. The phone will be control hardware via Bluetooth LE, and automatically receive notifications when something changes on the peripheral.

Participants will be required to bring a laptop and are encouraged to bring a Bluetooth LE-capable iOS or Android phone. There will be a limited number of phones that people can borrow for the workshop. Familiarity with at least one programming language is helpful but not required.

A list of required free software will be sent to attendees before the workshop.

Photo of Don Coleman

Don Coleman

Chariot Solutions

Don Coleman is a software developer who enjoys hacking with phones, Arduino, and other hardware. Don is the co-author of Beginning NFC Near Field Communication with Arduino, Android, and PhoneGap and is currently working on a book about Bluetooth low energy.

Photo of Alasdair Allan

Alasdair Allan

Babilim Light Industries

Alasdair Allan is a scientist, author, hacker, tinkerer, and journalist who has been thinking about the Internet of Things, which he thinks is broken.

He is the author of a number of books, and from time to time he also stands in front of cameras. You can often find him at conferences talking about interesting things, or deploying sensors to measure them. He recently rolled out a mesh network of 500 sensor motes covering the entire of Moscone West during Google I/O. He’s still recovering.

A few years before that he caused a privacy scandal by uncovering that your iPhone was recording your location all the time. This caused several class action lawsuits and a U.S. Senate hearing. Several years on, he still isn’t sure what to think about that.

He sporadically writes blog posts about things that interest him, or more frequently provides commentary in 140 characters or less. He is a contributing editor for MAKE magazine, and a contributor to the O’Reilly Radar.

Alasdair is a former academic. As part of his work he built a distributed peer-to-peer network of telescopes which, acting autonomously, reactively scheduled observations of time-critical events. Notable successes included contributing to the detection of what was—at the time—the most distant object yet discovered, a gamma-ray burster at a redshift of 8.2.

Sandeep Mistry


Sandeep Mistry is a professional software engineer who enjoys tinkering with the Internet of Things and Bluetooth low energy (BLE) devices. Sandeep has created/authored numerous open source BLE libraries, including noble and bleno for node.js, and BLEPeripheral for Arduino.

Comments on this page are now closed.


Bennett Clews
06/24/2015 4:21am PDT

Really disappointed to have missed this tutorial yesterday. Was the hardware used on the day purchasable? If so, is it possible to pick up a hardware kit somewhere onsite anytime during the conference? Many thanks.

Picture of Don Coleman
Don Coleman
06/15/2015 10:07am PDT

The instructions are scheduled to be sent out today.

Picture of Brian Hanafee
Brian Hanafee
06/14/2015 6:31am PDT

> A list of required free software will be sent to attendees before the workshop.

Has this been sent yet?