We are always trying to improve bluz and make it better and more useful. Our recent release of v2.1.50 was a major step in that direction, and we have some exciting new features that we plan to release shortly as well.
Still, there is time to figure out what is next for bluz. So we wanted to open the question to our community to get feedback and perspective on what you want to see from bluz over the coming year.
Any feedback is welcome, no feature is too small and no new hardware platform is too grand. Here are some of the ideas we have been kicking around, but we’d love to hear what you think!
- Next Generation Bluz: Most likely based on the nrf52840. This would be bluz with an ARM Cortex M4F, 1MB Flash, and 256K RAM, as well as full Bluetooth 5.0 capabilities like higher data rates and longer ranges. A major step up in hardware specs from the current version.
- New Gateways. The nrf51822 is limited in what it can do for a gateway, both in number of devices allowed and the data rates it can utilize. While the raspberry pi can be an alternative, it is limited to WiFi. The idea here would be a much more powerful gateway that can still use WiFi or Cellular to connect, possibly up to the limit of 128 devices on one gateway, with much higher data rates.
- LoRa integration. A gateway add-on that would allow it to communicate over very long distances (think kilometers) back to a central gateway. We could design a system where one central node has a LoRa radio and an internet ready radio (WiFI or Cellular) and it can communicate with many LoRa<->BLE gateways in the field, which can then talk to many bluz devices. So it would allow for cheaper deployments than cellular but incredibly longer range.
- Mesh. This has always been on our list and we are constantly balancing waiting for the official Bluetooth version versus choosing a proprietary method for now.
- Something else entirely besides Bluetooth LE. We made bluz originally because there wasn’t a low-power option on the Particle cloud. But there aren’t other options as well, such as Ethernet, LoRa, XBee, or many other back-end technologies. What would you like to see us build?