Fun with Bluetooth and Android

About a month ago I went on vacation with my family, part of which involved a large cruise ship. I also had a new Samsung Galaxy phone, and I was curious to see what it could do. I had been avoiding getting a “smart phone” for a long time, but lack of 4G and generally crappy reception almost everywhere finally pushed me into it. Now I have something that has both WiFi and Bluetooth, in addition to being a phone. Lots of possibilities there.

Before leaving on the trip I went app shopping. I was specifically looking for things like level indicators, GPS functions, accelerometers, and so on. I’ve never been out to sea in a large (700 foot) boat, just small-ish ones in the 40 to 100 foot range. A 40 foot fishing boat in rough seas can be a stomach-churning terror ride. I wanted to see how well the automatic roll damping on a large ship worked.

One app I found was from Keuwl, and it’s basically a virtual 3-axis spirit level. While 50 or so miles off the coast of Canada I found that the pitch and roll on the ship never seemed to exceed about +/- 1 degree, even with rough seas. Impressive.

Turns out that the Keuwl folks make a whole array of interesting apps, ranging from guitar tuners to a fancy signal generator, accelerometers, and an audio spectrum analyzer. If an Android smart phone has the sensors, chances are the folks at Keuwl have an app for it. They also have a Bluetooth app that can talk to an Arduino. Now they have my undivided attention.

The Keuwl Bluetooth app can use an Arduino as an I/O expansion (but it’s not really restricted to just Arduino, it could also be used with a Raspberry Pi or a C.H.I.P., or anything with Bluetooth function that can be accessed with custom software). On their web site they have various projects ranging from a small R/C car to temperature and humidity sensor, all based on either an Arduino Uno or a Mega. The projects include source code, connection instructions, links to things like Bluetooth modules for Arduino, and other useful things to get you up and running with minimal effort.

I happen to have several Bluetooth modules for use with Arduino boards (they are described in my book, Arduino: A Technical Reference), so I intend to try some of these real soon.

Check out Keuwl, they may have an app or two that you might like.



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Little Buddy

An awesome little friend

Jordi the Sheltie passed away in 2008 at the ripe old age of 14. He was the most awesome dog I've ever known.


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