I continue to be amazed at how simple it is to add wireless technology to a design. It seems like it wasn’t too long ago that the wireless subsystem was added by dropping a black box onto the board. The system designer didn’t really get a understanding of how that technology worked. But the beauty of the solution was that he didn’t need to know. It just worked. On the rare occasion that it didn’t work, well I won’t even go there.
While that solution was generally an easy one to incorporate, it certainly wasn’t the most elegant, nor was it the cheapest, by a long shot. Thankfully, adding something like Bluetooth is pretty easy today. And with development kits like Anaren‘s Atmosphere board, you simply drag and drop to create an application. When you drag and drop the modules, the embedded code is automatically created and compiled.
Where the Atmosphere board really shines is when you’re trying to build a mobile- or tablet-based application. The board combines Anaren’s technology with Broadcom’s wireless Internet connectivity for embedded devices, aka WICED.
The kit is based on a multi-sensor board. Anaren claimed that a designer can go from concept to demo in about 90 minutes, and I’m pleased to report that their claim held true. My concept was a pretty simple one (getting some LEDs to change color and blink based on temperature), but it was achieved in less than 90 minutes nonetheless. And the assumption is that you have more expertise than me.
The Atmosphere’s multi-sensor board includes an accelerometer, a digital compass, a temperature sensor, a buzzer, a tri-color LED, and a joystick. Think of the fun you can have with that combination. The bundled software includes access to a development tool and a programmer executable file. A mobile app is available in the App Store.
With the development tool, a developer can simultaneously generate embedded code and mobile app code. If I can do it, surely you can, too.