Reviews of the best BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) prototyping IOT hardware platforms

Choose the best Bluetooth Low Energy ( BLE ) prototyping hardware tool

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You have a brilliant idea for a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) based IOT product. You have made your decision between Bluetooth low energy and Bluetooth Classic and perhaps Bluetooth 5.You are ready to develop a BLE hardware platform prototype for your IOT idea.You want to unleash your wireless IOT product on an unsuspecting world.

Wait a minute, which Bluetooth Low Energy prototyping IOT hardware platform do you choose? Read on to get reviews of the top BLE prototyping platforms.

Top 3 BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) prototyping hardware platforms reviewed

Summary review chart of BLE prototyping hardware development tools

BLE Prototyping Platform Manufacturer Best Unique Features
nRF52 Nordic Semiconductors Includes NFC in addition to Bluetooth Smart & Arduino Support
CC2650-Sensor Tag Kit Texas Instruments Amazing Number of Sensors, supports Zigbee, 6LowPan in addition to Bluetooth Smart
CY8CKIT-042-BLE : Bluetooth Low Energy Pioneer Cypress Semiconductors Cool IDE with ready sample projects, coin cell support

1nRF52 – Nordic’s one stop prototyping platform for IOT- Supports BLE (Bluetooth Smart), ANT and 2.4 Ghz

You just wanted just a BLE prototyping IOT hardware evaluation tool?

The nRF52 from Nordic Semiconductor brings you a SOC or a single board development kit (an EVM, if you prefer that term) that supports BLE (Bluetooth Smart), ANT and even 2.4 Ghz connectivity. In addition, this IOT prototyping kit can be fitted with a antenna to support NFC functionality. In short, this IOT development evaluation module can be used to prototype almost all your IOT prototyping ideas.

Processor for the nRF52 IOT development platform:

The nRF52 BLE prototyping hardware evaluation platform has a Cortex M4F processor to provide your IOT product enough processing juice to power most of your connectivity prototypes.

Software for the nRF52 BLE prototyping hardware kit :

Along with the BLE hardware prototyping kit, you get Nordic’s nRF5 SDK for IoT- a complete software stack consisting of drivers, libraries and live examples. Whats really cool about the nRF5 software is the easy implementation of IPV6 to Bluetooth Smart IOT applications.

The decision clincher : Choosing Nordic’s nRF52 as your Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) IOT hardware protyping platform

If you love Arduino and only want to work with a BLE hardware prototyping platform that supports Arduino, choose nRF52. Also, if you are looking for Bluetooth Smart over IPV6, definitely choose nRF52 as your BLE hardware prototyping EVM.

2CC2650 SimpleLinkā„¢ BLE Sensor Tag Kit from Texas Instruments: The simplest platform to develop your IOT Prototype product

You just needed one sensor to go along with your Bluetooth Smart microcontroller for your IOT product?

Texas Instruments offers 10 sensors (WOW!) as part of the CC2650 Sensor Tag kit evaluation module . Simply amazing. The sensors included that can be easily interfaced with Bluetooth Smart connectivity for your IOT product:

Temperature Sensor
Light Sensor
Humidity Sensor
Pressure Sensor
Accelerometer, Gyroscope and Compass
Magnet Sensor
Over The air Download
Full GATT table

You only wanted Bluetooth Smart (BLE) connectivity for your IOT prototype?

The CC2650 Sensor tag development kit supports :

  • Bluetooth Smart
  • Zigbee
  • 6LowPan
  • Zigbee RF4CE

The support that CC2650 Sensor Tag development platform offers for 6LowPan is rather unique among IOT hardware prototyping tools. If you are looking at a smart grid application, then the CC2650 Sensor tag prototyping tool could use the 6LowPan concept to prototype transmission of IPV6 packets.

When would you choose CC2650 Sensor Tag as your BLE IOT hardware prototyping platform : The decision clincher

  • If your IOT application needs a lot of sensors, then you will save a lot of money by going in for the CC2650 Sensor Tag kit. Another reason for choosing the CC2650 Sensor tag kit
  • If you need not only BLE (Bluetooth Smart) support, but you are also open to looking at Zigbee and 6LowPan, the CC2650 development platform is the right fit for you
  • Finally, if you are from the academic world or a dilettante hobbyist interested in the Internet Of Things, the CC2650 Bluetooth Smart Sensor Tag kit is a great tool for you to learn all the IOT connectivity technologies and understand how the sensor work

3Cypress Semiconductors Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Pioneer Kit (CY8CKIT-042-BLE) : Easy BLE application development platform

Want a quick start to your Bluetooth Low Energy Project? Use the Cypress Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Pioneer kit

The Cypress Bluetooth Low Energy Pioneer Kit includes the PSOC Creator , the industry leading IDE to create BLE applications that integrate easily with the hardware. The best part of the PSOC Creator are the sample projects that get you started on your next BLE application really quickly. And did we tell you that the PSOC Creator is free software that runs on Windows?

Unique features of the Cypress Bluetooth Low Energy Pioneer Kit – a coin cell holder in addition to the battery

This Cypress BLE kit touts its low power feature – a 3V coin cell is provided for the coin cell holder and is enough to drive most simple BLE prototypes

Cypress BLE solutions have modular qualification for the Bluetooth SIG Standards

If qualification for Bluetooth SIG standards worries you, this Cypress hardware development kit ensures that you have nothing to worry! A modular qualification approach towards Bluetooth SIG standards ensures greater flexibility for customers developing a particular BLE application.

Essentially, all the Bluetooth Low Energy Development Kits that are reviewed above are cool, but the unique features of the BLE prototying tools(EVM development kits) should help you choose the right platform. Once you have made your choice for the hardware platform, you can develop applications for Bluetooth Low Energy and qualify them

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