Tuesday 11 November 2014

Droidcon 2014

Android Developers Eager to Pursue the Bluetooth Smart Opportunity

On Friday 31st October, I was delighted to have the opportunity to speak at Europe’s largest Android developer event, DroidconThe event was held in central London at the Business Design Center in Islington and was attended by around 1000 people. There was a good selection of companies exhibiting too, with Bluetooth Smart well represented in products such as wearables, beacons and developer boards.

My session, “Creating the internet of my things using Bluetooth Smart” was extremely well attended, all the more gratifying since it was scheduled at around 4pm on a Friday, and I’m sure most people had all manner of Halloween fun planned for that evening. But the level of interest in Bluetooth Smart was clearly high and people had presumably decided that Trick or Treating could, if necessary, wait.

My presentation opened with some basic scene setting about the difference between Bluetooth Classic and Bluetooth Smart, the advantage that Bluetooth’s Adaptive Frequency Hopping gives in terms of reliability and some statistics and comment regarding the remarkable growth that Bluetooth is experiencing in terms of adoption right now and is forecast to experience over the next few years.
And I made the observation that for every new Bluetooth Smart product to hit the market, there are probably 10 new smart phone and tablet applications waiting to be developed. This is, without question, an amazing time for developers to be learning about Bluetooth Smart.

Quite quickly, the session moved into a technical phase and I interleaved information about basic concepts such as GAP, GATT and ATT with concrete guidance on how to accomplish the key tasks and use cases using the Android APIs with clear code fragments to illustrate each example.

I rounded off the session with a look at the new capabilities which Android L has made available to the Bluetooth Smart developer and an exploration of the types of tools, which they might find it useful to add to their development environment, including protocol analyzers, GATT explorers and developer boards.

The 5 minutes I retained for Q&A at the end were fully utilized and it’s no exaggeration to say I was “mobbed” by people wanting to ask more questions and discuss their ideas as I came off stage. We moved the highly enjoyable discussion which ensued outside the room to avoid delaying the final speaker of the day.

It was exciting for me to see the way in which Android developers recognised the huge potential for Bluetooth Smart, a key enabling technology for the Internet of Things, and the enormous opportunity it affords them as mobile application developers.

I will be delivering a similar presentation on the 19th November to the London Android Group. If you're interested in attending, check here for details: http://www.meetup.com/android/events/208993142/

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