In terms of hardware, Bluz is pretty basic: a tiny ARM Cortex-M0 processor packaged with a Bluetooth radio, plus 32k of RAM and 256k of on-board Flash memory. The simple design means Bluz is perfect for lightweight projects like sensors and other IoT devices that don’t have heavy software or processing requirements, and keeps power consumption to a minimum.
Bluz communicates over Bluetooth Low Energy, which means the board can run for months or even years on a single coin battery. Beefed-up encryption keeps data secure from the device itself to the signal’s destination—which can be anywhere in the world, thanks to several “gateway” options that can get Bluz talking to the Internet at large.
One option is a gateway shield, which Bluz can snap onto to connect directly over Wi-Fi. Another is a standalone Wi-Fi gateway in the form of a USB stick, which receives Bluz’s Bluetooth signals and passes them along. Finally, there’s a mobile app that lets a phone or tablet pair with Bluz and forward its data over the cellular network.
Bluz relies on Spark’s cloud service to handle data and provide web-based programming tools. In fact, the board was created by a Spark community member and is the first outside product to join that ecosystem. Bluz is compatible with Spark’s own Core (Wi-Fi) and Electron (3G/cellular) boards, as well as their shield add-ons.
The Bluz team is raising funds on Kickstarter through May 18 and plans to ship in October. Learn more in the video below.