Bluetooth LE (BLE) is a common way for mobile devices to connect to accessories, watches, and toys. Getting that same connectivity on the desktop has been really challenging - every platform does it differently and its still not very stable. Luckily, there's now a cross-platform way to connect to BLE devices on any computer - Web Bluetooth lets you connect to BLE devices, right from your browser!
In this guide we'll show how you can test BLE devices from Adafruit in the browser, streaming in sensor data, even controlling LEDs and buzzers using the Adafruit Bluefruit Dashboard page.
It works by making a Bluetooth connection to a device, then it queries which services are available and creates interactivity panels in the dashboard for those services. The more services, the more panels. So the Circuit Playground Bluefruit will look different than the Adafruit CLUE because the CLUE has more sensors. The dashboard will then receive notifications from the Bluetooth device and update the data on screen at regular intervals.
This guide will go over:
- Installing the firmware
- Preparing Chrome if you have Linux
- Connecting to the dashboard and using it, and
- Discuss taking the dashboard further
To get started, all you will need are a Bluetooth board with sensors such as the Circuit Playground Bluefruit, Adafruit CLUE or Feather Bluefruit Sense.