The Revolutionary Bluetooth Beacon Puck.js Is Here
An easy to use graphical editor in it is perfect for any maker, either the one who is just starting out or the one who has been making for years. Anyone can start programming straight out of the box without any need of wires or software.
Why should one decide on Puck.js?
Well, first of all Bluetooth Low Energy (or Bluetooth Smart) in an incredible technology. It is now built into virtually all Phones and Computers, and remember that Bluetooth Smart devices have a battery life of years.
Check out the specifications of Puck.js below:
- 35mm diameter, 10mm thick
- Silicone rubber cover, ABS plastic base
- CR2032 210mAh battery
- MAG3110 magnetometer
- 1x Tactile Button, 4x LED (R, G, B, IR)
- 8x 0.1″ pins – 6x GPIO, 2x Power
- Bluetooth Smart 5.0, 80M range in Open Space
- PLUS Nordic Semiconductor’s brand new nRF52832 microcontroller. It is packed full of amazing features
- ARM Cortex M4F core
- Compatible with Bluetooth 5.0 – giving Quadruple the range, and double the speed of Bluetooth 4.2
- Near field communications (NFC) built-in
- A massive 64kB of RAM and 512kB of Flash – double that of the previous generation nRF51
- 64 MHz clock speed – four times that of the nRF51
- Over the air firmware updates
- 12 bit ADC, timers, SPI, I2C and Serial that can be used on any available pins
- Temperature sensor
Input and Output
Puck.js can measure light, temperature, magnetic fields and capacitance, can control Infrared devices, produce any colour light and has a clever tactile switch that turns the Puck into one big button.
The sensors have been selected carefully so that they are as useful as possible in addition to being affordable.
There is digital compass on Puck.js called the magnetometer. Its orientation relative to the earth’s magnetic field in 3 dimensions can be calculated. It will also respond to a magnet close by just like a compass which implies that you can use it to sense all kind of things as follows:
- Detect when a magnet is nearby (i.e. door opening or closing)
- Detect the angle of a magnet relative to Puck.js (i.e. water level via a magnet on a float)
- Measuring the rotation of Puck.js (you can use your Puck as a knob)
- Magnetic North, for orientation
The Physical Web (Eddystone) lets Bluetooth devices such as Puck.js to market themselves to phones in the area. In case a phone user clicks a notification, they will be taken to a website set by the Puck.js. Take a look at the following video to have some idea about the Physical Web:
The advertising packets of Puck.js are completely configurable, therefore, it will also support iBeacon for Apple devices.
At present, Chrome supports Web Bluetooth on Android, Mac OS, Chromebooks and Linux. Windows support will be available soon, and other browser vendors are adding support too.
Kickstarter have a native command-line and an easy Graphical User Interface application that you can use in case your platform is not supported.
Puck.js is not a Slave
Puck.js is capable of entering the Bluetooth ‘Central’ (or ‘Master’) role. As compared to other beacons, it does not need to be told what to do like a ‘Slave’ as it is capable to connecting to other Bluetooth Smart devices and controlling them.
In addition to this, Puck.js can also act as a Bluetooth Smart HID device as it can make your computer see it as a keyboard or mouse, so it can interact with your computer without drivers.
TCP/IP and HTTP Client and Servers (including WebSockets) are contained in Espruino which will be available in Puck.js. You can put your Puck on the internet by means of a suitable Bluetooth Smart to Internet gateway.
Common ESP8266 WiFi or SIM900 GSM/GPRS modules can also be wired straightaway to your Puck, allowing it direct access to the internet without a Bluetooth gateway.
8 easy to use pins on a 0.1″ pitch (6x GPIO, GND and VCC) are included in Puck.js which can be soldered or used with conductive thread. You are capable of using them to control anything once they are connected.
Open source includes hardware, software, libraries and documentation. Former hardware designs and software can be checked out on GitHub right now.
In case you require a case with specific attachments you could easily download the case design file, customise it, and print it off at a local hacker space or online print shop like i.materialise or Shapeways.
Puck.js is created by the Espruino developers
Gordon Williams, the creator of Espruino has manufactured Puck.js. Just like all the boards that Kickstarter make, any improvements to the software will work their way back into the other boards, hence, benefiting everyone.
You can start programming Puck.js in seconds. There is no need to install anything, you only need to visit the Espruino Website in the Chrome web browser and connect to your Puck.
However, there is more. You can also modify your code while it’s running, and can even debug it once connected, stepping though line by line and even inspecting variables without restarting, all totally wirelessly, with no additional hardware required.
What do you acquire with Puck.js?
You will be able to get the following with each Puck.js:
- a Puck.js circuit board with all the components mentioned above
- a water resistant Puck.js case – with silicone top, hard plastic base and fitting
- a CR2032 battery
- a ‘Getting Started’ card with instructions
Kickstarter has working prototypes and a manufacturing partner called Seeed Studios that they used for their first KickStarter, use for all current boards and are extremely confident in.