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By RFID Journal

Cross-Platform Tool from Synapse Aids Development of BLE Devices

Product development firm Synapse, a Cambridge Consultants company, has launched a cross-platform tool called BlueSee as a smartphone and desktop application. The tool is intended for easy debugging and testing during the development of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) devices.

BlueSee decouples firmware testing and application development for professional and hobbyist Internet of Things (IoT) and peripheral developers, by providing a scriptable interface to interact with BLE devices. BlueSee can be used throughout the development process, from proof-of-concept and development stages to final testing.

Using BlueSee, developers can view, filter, connect to and interact with any discoverable BLE devices within range. Unlike other cross-platform BLE debugging tools on the market, the company reports, BlueSee provides a filtration option for advertised services, which are automatically generated from scan results and from any scripts a user has installed.

Once connected, the BlueSee scripting interface takes over, providing access to any recognized services. Scripts are universal, running BlueSee across any platform it supports. This means, for instance, that the same script used on an Apple MacBook will also work on an iPhone.

BlueSee provides scripts for several common BLE services, including device information, time and date, battery level and heart rate, as well as access to generic unknown services. It uses the Lua scripting application programming interface (API) to customize the interface and interactions for services of a device.

"Through our work on numerous Bluetooth LE projects here at Synapse, our test engineers uncovered a need for a simple way to speak to devices separately from the actual application," said Rachel Blackman, Synapse's head of mobile software development, in a prepared statement. "Yet, the tools that exist today require writing up raw bits of information in hexadecimal form and sending them to the devices – a tedious task to complete from a smartphone, and inconvenient for testing the same functionality on desktop or laptop machines."

The macOS and iOS versions of BlueSee are now available for download at the Apple App Store. "We initially developed BlueSee as an in-house Bluetooth LE debugging toolkit to improve and streamline the testing of our own device development," Blackman said in the prepared statement. "Now, we are thrilled to be able share its benefits with rest of the mobile and firmware engineering community."

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