Getting Started with Bluetooth Low Energy by Kevin Townsend et al; O’Reilly Media


Getting Started with Bluetooth Low Energy, Tools and Techniques for Low-Power Networking

Bluetooth LE, or Bluetooth Smart as it is officially known, has generated a lot of interest for all the good reasons. Getting Started with Bluetooth Low Energy by Kevin Townsend et al is a solid guide to the topic, along with other good books such as Bluetooth Low Energy: The Developer’s Handbook.

The book begins by discussing the key characteristics, limitations, and use cases of Bluetooth LE technology, in chapter 1. The following four chapters take a deep dive into the protocols that comprise Bluetooth LE, beginning with an overview in Chapter 2. Chapter 3 delves into the Generic Attribute Profile or GAP (advertising and connections). Chapter 4 delves into Generic Attribute Profile or GATT (services and characteristics).

Makers need to select hardware to leverage Bluetooth LE. It may come in the form of a module that you program to act as a peripheral, or a USB dongle that you may plug into a USB host. Chapter 5 discusses several such options. Chapters 6 and 7 delve into debugging and design tools that aid developers during development and troubleshooting.

Chapter 8 shows how to leverage Bluetooth LE on Android using the Bluetooth Application Accelerator library from the Bluetooth SIG. You’ll learn how to establish connection and communicate with a remote device. Chapter 9 delves into Bluetooth LE programming on iOS by demonstrating several practical applications.

Chapter 10, the concluding chapter, shows how to leverage Bluetooth LE on embedded devices. It uses a hardware module introduced in chapter 5, in conjunction with ARM’s mbed platform, to build a peripheral that can be used with Android and iOS devices.

All source code shown in the book can be forked from the author’s GitHub repo. The text has occasional spelling mistakes that don’t affect readability.

I’d like to thank O’Reilly Media for providing an e-book for review.

One thought on “Getting Started with Bluetooth Low Energy by Kevin Townsend et al; O’Reilly Media

  1. I read the book, skipping a few parts i already knew. This book is a bit better than the other BLE book because it goes deeper into the actual hardware out there. The problem is, actually choosing a BLE chip and designing it are more complicated. It’s also missing information on the what. What should I choose as my profile, for example.

    Looking around I found some better resources on BLE design here. it goes over all the chips available, pros and cons. This is a good starting point.

    Then, look online at the Bluetooth SIG site for the specs and and info on GATT. That will help you make better choices that the book doesn’t cover.

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