Feedback for Bluetooth Component

Hi Thunkers!

We are working on a number of exciting hardware/sensor related components right now for Thunkable ✕, including Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). We are looking for your help to make sure we build what you are looking for.

For those of you looking for the BLE component:

  1. How are you planning to use it (what is the BLE feature in your app supposed to do)?
  2. What are the main features you are looking for to make it work?

Thanks,
Arun and the Thunkable Team

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Hi Arun,
I’m interested in develop an App like the one presented in this video:
http://www.beaconitaly.it/musei/ (scroll page down).
My App will interact with beacons in order to provide contents (text, images, music) according to users position.
So, what I’m looking for is:

  • A simple way to interact with BLE Beacons
  • A simple set of block with “macro” function (connect to beacon, read data, …)
  • Maximum compatibility with a wide range of Android versions (not only the last version) and devices. (I know at least Android v. 5 is recommended but teoretically BLE works on Android 4.3 too… let’s think to obsolete devices)

Thanks for taking care of this interesting and useful feature!

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Hi Thunkable team

Always happy to help anyone interested in improving technology. Here Are a couple I have already finished using MIT’s APP INVENTOR Development system.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/arp325nu6ldv4e6/Trailer%20Mate.png?dl=0

Control an 8 Channel Relay board by Tinysine with Bluetooth

https://www.dropbox.com/s/2csnkohl5uas33r/SCAF-L_JAC.png?dl=0

Control an 2 Channel Relay board by DSD TECH with Bluetooth

Good Luck!

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Hi Arun,
l would like the means to connect to a Bluetooth device without pairing. For example, my Smartwatch App when turned on, automatically connects with the Smartwatch (via the App).
I would like the same to happen, but for the watch to connect with my own Thunkable App. At the present time I can only connect a Smartwatch to my App that pairs with the phone, whereas, most Smartwatches pair via an App.
Thanks, hope you can help.

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Thunkable team,

Thanks for being such a great group…easy to work with and responsive. I actually do not need BLE. Just looking for a classic Bluetooth to send HEX commands.

Thanks again!

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I was hoping you might be close to BLE support. I have two hardware projects, both based on Arduino-ish technology. Both use Android or iOS as controllers and UI. They just need simple serial port like functionality (which BLE is pretty good at). Both will use Firmata (Arduino’s simple client-host protocol).

I think you could probably rely on the existing native Android and iOS functionality to identify visible BLE devices and look after connecting and so on. For me, I just need you to provide a two way data stream like it was a serial cable (BTW, an OTG USB serial connections would be awesome too!)

Can’t wait to see what you’ve got coming and I would be super happy to help more and beta (alpha?:slight_smile: test too.

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Hey, here’s a thought: Since a wired OTG connection is just a pipe for serial data, and BLE is just a different pipe. Why not think of the serial components as common underlying components?

Hi Thunkeneers,

Any update on BLE availability? I have a commercial project thats just waiting for it.

It will be coming very soon! Keep eyes on Thunkable Docs : https://docs.thunkable.com/release-notes
Thanks. :slight_smile:

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Thanks for all of your feedback! We hope to launch a version of the BLE component it in the next week, and would love your feedback when it is launched!

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Hi All,

If you haven’t seen it yet, we recently launched the BLE component. Please try it out and let us know your thoughts!

https://docs.thunkable.com/bluetooth-low-energy

Best,
Arun

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It seems to work well! It took a little getting used to, but we were able to get a listviewer to show of both the available Device IDs and the Device Names. Having the friendly names available and searchable is a huge plus. Thanks team!

PS: Looking forward to Classic Bluetooth :grinning:

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I’m really excited and finally have the time to try the BLE Component. It seems there is only read and write capability and no notify? Is that correct? I am trying to talk to a device which uses notify. If notify is missing do you plan to add it? My understanding is that notify is very commonly used.

On further experimentation you definitely need to add a “when/do” on notify. I can’t create a loop that polls the BLE read anywhere near fast enough to reliably capture data from a pretty lazy BLE device. Please add an event driven Notify option :pray:

A testable “connected state” would be very helpful too.

I’m using BLE component intensively last few months, and I think it really works great. I’m using it as a remote controller for ESP 32 based project. It is simple to use, stable, no-nonsense. The only thing that I found might be useful to add could be BT disconnect option.
It is really great and it is a pity that it can’t be previewed from iOS, I think I’m going to buy Android phone because I’m wasting a lot of time waiting for a compiled app.

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Hollo to everyone! Yeah, why is no disconnect function in bt module, like in classic version? I need it very hard, for using with arduino.

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Hi @arun @Domhnall @Mark !

I’m an italian computer science engineer and also an high school teacher. With my students we have developed an app for Android (infoBalloons) using App Inventor 2 plus AppVis Extension (https://isenseproject.org/appvis) and Blebricks Extension (https://www.bleb.it/en/software-suite/) to live track hot air balloons.

Regarding Blebricks (https://www.bleb.it/), the smart IoT bricks that use the BLE technology, see also this paper: https://1drv.ms/b/s!Aoa1ABpG9aM1hdFzzbXBkkdjGUP4hA

Regarding infoBalloons app and project (see: https://www.bleb.it/en/infoballoons/ and https://isenseproject.org/projects/3640).

I’d like to create an improved infoBalloons app for Android and iOS using Thunkable X.

I’ve presented our projects (infoBalloons and other IoT apps that use BLE) during a Poster Session inside MIT App Inventor Summit 2019 last August (you can see my poster here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1nVNiyVsE6LqBzojeaCQRrsKvMPppDhg1/view?usp=sharing) where I also met @Mark (Mark Friedman).

As I told to @Mark, the Blebriks Extension for MIT App Inventor and Thunkable Classic developed by Bleb Technology (our technical partner) is a new, more efficient and designed by scratch extension to use BLE protocol and works better than the MIT App Inventor BLE component. Bleb Technology and I (contact me at: http://www.tealdi.eu/) would like to collaborate with Thunkable on BLE support.

But PLEASE, PLEASE, as a first step, could you please add the possibility, inside your Thunkable X BLE Component, to transmit an uint8_t HEX byte array instead of a String (Text) as “data” in “Transmit” function (https://docs.thunkable.com/bluetooth-low-energy#transmit)?

And on the other hand to receive an uint8_t HEX byte array instead of a String (Text) as “data” in “Receive” function (https://docs.thunkable.com/bluetooth-low-energy#receive)?

Paolo T.

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