Saturday 28 February 2015

Embedded World

Embedded World is Europe's foremost conference and exhibition for people interested in embedded systems and runs for 3 days in Nuremberg, Germany. It prides itself on being a serious, technical event with high calibre speakers who are respected authorities in their field. So why I was there and why I was possibly the only person presenting two sessions, I really have no idea!

But I was there and I did speak. Twice.

Obligatory photo of me presenting

I also had a good wander around the enormous (but not quite CEBIT sized) exhibition. Some was interesting and for me, some considerably less so. We all have our thing I guess.

My first session "Creating the Edge Tier of IoT with Bluetooth Smart" sought to clearly position Bluetooth Low Energy (AKA Bluetooth Smart) with respect to IoT architectures and patterns and then proceeded to explore the practicalities of developing both device firmware, using an Arduino based system as the example, and smartphone applications, using Android.

My second was arguably more interesting and consisted of a 30 minute and reasonably technical guided tour of the newest capabilities and features of Bluetooth Low Energy as well as a close look at things that will be released imminently. I also talked briefly about the standardisation of Mesh networks on Bluetooth Low Energy about which the Bluetooth SIG issued a press release a few days ago, a very exciting development which will have a substantial impact in sectors such as the Smart Home, the commercial building sector and the industrial internet of things.

I got asked a good question at the end of my second session and I'd like to make sure my answer is clear as I suspect it was not. The question concerned the fact that at version 4.2 of the Bluetooth core specification, resolution of private resolvable addresses has moved from the host to the controller. Since the controller is hardware, this implies correctly that only new devices will be able to support this particular feature. What is does *not* mean however is that only devices with new hardware can be 4.2 compliant. None of the new features of 4.2 are mandatory and so only if a manufacturer opts to implement the new privacy architecture will this mean they need a 4.2 compliant controller. And it has no impact on devices compliant with 4.0 or 4.1 either. Advertising packets are advertising packets and a 4.0/4.1 device can still process advertising packets emitted by a 4.2 device, containing a private resolvable address instead of the old style not resolvable reconnection address type. In short, 4.2 is backwards compatible with earlier 4.x versions.

PDF versions of the slides from both my sessions are available for download:

Session 1 - Creating the Edge Tier of IoT with Bluetooth Smart

Session 2 - What's New in Bluetooth Smart?

And.... if you really want to, you can watch a video of my second session as well. Enjoy.

25th Feb 2015 - Embedded World - What's New in Bluetooth Smart?

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