Tips & Tricks: Bluetooth Low Energy Bit

MEET THE BIT

The littleBits Bluetooth Low Energy Bit (marked “BLE” on your Bit) is the easiest way to control your inventions wirelessly, from any smart device (like a phone or tablet). All you need is the littleBits invent app and this Bit to move motors on wireless vehicles, or trigger buzzers for pranks. You can also use your circuit to control functions on your device, like triggering the camera to take a picture.

HOW IT WORKS

The Bluetooth Low Energy Bit can send and receive a signal from your smart device using Bluetooth Low Energy wireless technology, up to a distance of about 80ft (25m) indoors. To use the Bluetooth Low Energy Bit, you first need to connect it to your smart device (smartphone, tablet) through the littleBits invent app.

Check your device’s compatibility at littleBits.com/app.

 

using the BLE

 

The Bluetooth Low Energy Bit also has the ability to “remember” the last command you sent to it from your smart device. For example, if you set the SLIDER control to the middle and exit out of the control screen or the invent app entirely, the output should continue to receive a “50%” signal. This is super useful if you want to keep your invention running while you’re doing other things on your smart device, like exploring all the other amazing inventions on the app!

CONNECTING YOUR SMART DEVICE

To help you get started, we’ve created a step-by-step walkthrough on how to connect your smart device to the Bluetooth Low Energy Bit. The walkthrough will not appear until you add the Gizmos & Gadgets Kit, 2nd Edition to your account. After adding the kit in the “Kits & Bits” section, the walkthrough (titled “Get Started”) should appear in the “For Me” section of the Invent app. You can also find the walkthrough under the “Help” section of the Gizmos & Gadgets Kit, 2nd Edition kit details page. The walkthrough is only available on the app – you won’t find it on the website.

 

get started and help

 

Every time you connect to the Bluetooth Low Energy Bit with an iPhone, you will be asked to tap the corner of the phone to the Bit. That’s because the Bluetooth antenna on an iPhone is located on the top left corner of the device. On the Bluetooth Low Energy Bit, the antenna is the big metal component on top of the circuit.

 

antennae-01

 

On tablets and Android devices, the location of the Bluetooth antenna can vary greatly, so we’ve made it easier to connect by simply using Manual Connect mode.

Once connected, you can use the app’s controls to send signal information from your device to your circuit and vice versa. You can also create custom controls dashboards for your inventions. Controls range from simple buttons and dimmers to accelerometers. You can communicate with up to two Bluetooth Low Energy Bits at the same time.

CUSTOM CONTROLS

In the “Bit Controls” section of the app, you will find that one of the controls you can use with the littleBits Bluetooth Low Energy Bit is something called “Custom Controls.” Custom Controls will allow you to mix and match individual controls to create your very own digital dashboard on your smart device.

 

bit controls

 

Upon selecting Custom Controls, you will first be asked to connect to a Bluetooth Low Energy Bit. Once you’re connected, you’ll arrive at the composition screen where you will be able to start building your Custom Controls dashboard. Tap the circles with the “+” signs to add a functionality that controls your device or your Bits.

 

dashboard

 

If you are looking to add another Bluetooth Low Energy Bit, simply tap the “+ Add Bit” button on the bottom of the screen. Once you’re finished composing your Custom Controls, simply tap the “Run” button on the top right corner of your screen to get going.

 

add ble and run

Like the other controls, Custom Controls will also remember the last command you sent to your Bits using your smart device. Your Bluetooth Low Energy Bit will continue to send that signal out to the rest of your circuit until you reconnect your Bits, or until you power the circuit off and back on again.

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