Tag Archives: LightBlue Bean

Change the color of your shoes with your smartphone

Can’t find the perfect shoes for your outfit? No worries! This pair can change colors in seconds. 

Have you ever spent hours looking for shoes to match an outfit, only to never arrive at a decision? Well, French company Eram, digital agency Phoceis and startup BlueGriot may have come up with a solution… or sole-ution! That’s because the collaboration has developed a lineup of smart footwear, appropriately named #CHOOSE.


An earlier model consisted of an open toe sandal driven by an Arduino Micro (ATmega32U4), while the latest iteration — which we had the chance to see firsthand at CES 2016 — is a fashionable white low-top powered by a LightBlue Bean (ATmega328P). With an accompanying smartphone app, users can now change the color of their footwear to match their attire in a matter of a few seconds.

All the electronics are housed inside the sole. Communication is handled through Bluetooth, while optical fiber and an LED are tasked with illuminating different hues. There’s even a battery in each shoe, which can be refueled when placed on an induction-charging mat.


What’s more, the app even features a color scanner that enables a wearer to truly match the shoe to any outfit, a handbag or whatever other accessory. While clearly still in its early stages, could such footwear become the future of industry? After all, it’s only a matter of time before smart clothing becomes mainstream.

The good news is that you won’t have to wait too long to get your hands on some, as the company hopes to have them on sale by the end of the year. They’ll likely be priced somewhere in the ballpark of $150 to $200.


Rewind: 50 boards you’ll want to know about from 2015

Here’s a look at a bunch of boards that caught our attention over the last 12 months. Feel free to share your favorites below! 

“Hardware becomes a piece of culture that anyone can build upon, like a poem or a song.” – Massimo Banzi

Arduino Zero


A 32-bit Arduino powered by the Atmel | SMART SAM D21.

Arduino Wi-Fi Shield 101


An IoT shield with CryptoAuthentication that enables you to wirelessly connect your Arduino or Genuino with ease.

Arduino MKR1000


A powerful board that combines the functionality of the Zero and the connectivity of the Wi-Fi Shield.

Atmel | SMART SAM L21


A game-changing family of Cortex-M0+ MCUs that deliver power consumption down to 35 µA/MHz in active mode and 200nA in sleep mode.



An ultra-low power Bluetooth Smart SoC with an integrated ARM Cortex-M0 MCU and transceiver.



An ARM Cortex-A5-based MPU that offers great features integrated into lower pin count packages, making it ideal for applications where security, power consumption and space constraints are key considerations.

Atmel | SMART SAM S70/E70


An ARM Cortex-M7-based MCU with a floating point unit (FPU) that’s ideal for connectivity and general purpose industrial applications.



A space-ready version of the popular ATmega128.

Adafruit Feather


A new line of development boards that, like it’s namesake, are thin, light and let your ideas fly. Expect Feather to become a new standard for portable MCU cores.

Adafruit METRO 328


An ATmega328-driven processor packed with plenty of GPIO, analog inputs, UART, SPI and I2C, timers, and PWM galore – just enough for most simple projects.

Arduino GEMMA


A miniature wearable board based on the ATtiny85.

Adafruit Bluefruit LE Micro


A board that rolls the versatility of the ATmega32U4 and the wireless connectivity of the SPI Bluefruit LE Friend all into one.

SparkFun Stepoko


An Arduino-compatible, 3-axis control solution that runs grbl software.

SparkFun SAM D21 Breakout


An Arduino-sized breakout for the ATSAMD21G18.

Bosch Sensortec BMF055


A compact 9-axis motion sensor, which incorporates an accelerometer, a gyroscope and a magnetometer along with an Atmel | SMART SAM D20 ARM Cortex M0+ core.

BNO055 Xplained Pro


A new extension board, which features a BNO055 intelligent 9-axis absolute orientation sensor, that connects directly to Atmel’s Xplained board making it ideal for prototyping projects for IoT apps.



A prototyping platform that combines SIGFOX, BLE, NFC, GPS and a suite of sensors. Essentially, it’s the Swiss Army knife for the IoT.

Qduino Mini


A tiny, Arduino-compatible board with a built-in battery connector and charger built-in, as well as a fuel gauge.

Tessel 2


A dev board with a SAM D21 coprocessor, reliable Wi-Fi, an Ethernet jack, two USB ports and a system that runs real Node.js/io.js.



A Windows 10 single-board computer equipped with an Intel Atom x5-Z8300 Cherry Trail processor, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage and an ATmega32U4 coprocessor.

LightBlue Bean+


An Arduino-compatible board that is programmed wirelessly using Bluetooth Low Energy.

Makey Makey GO


A thumbdrive-shaped device that can transform ordinary objects into touch pads.



An uber mini, DIY board based on an Atmel | SMART AT91SAM9N12 that runs Linux via a USB drive.



A set of tiny modular circuit boards that takes the hassle out of building electronics.

Microduino mCookie


A collection of small, magnetically stackable modules that can bring your LEGO projects to life.

The AirBoard


A compact, open source, wireless and power efficient dev board designed to learn, sketch and deploy prototypes out in the field.



A matchbox-sized, Arduino-compatible MCU powered by a small solar panel.



An integrated platform that brings the power of the cloud to the edge of the network, enabling you to observe, learn and capture actionable insights from existing physical ‘things’ in your environment.

Sense HAT


An add-on for the Raspberry Pi equipped with a gyroscope, an accelerometer, a magnetometer, a temperature sensor, a barometric pressure sensor and a humidity sensor, as well as a five-button joystick and an 8×8 RGB LED matrix — all powered by an LED driver chip and an ATtiny88 running custom firmware.



A HAT with an Arduino-compatible processor that responds quickly to real-time events, while letting the Raspberry Pi do all of the heavy lifting.



A cost-effective, Arduino-compatible board with built-in Wi-Fi.



A little board designed for wearable devices that features a BNO055, an ATmega328P and a CR2032 coin-cell battery.

 XeThru X2M200 and X2M300


A pair of adaptive smart sensor modules that can monitor human presence, respiration and other vital information.

LinkIt Smart 7688 Duo


An Arduino Yún-friendly platform powered by an ATmega32U4 and MediaTek MT7688 SoC.



A small, inexpensive controller with an embedded OLED display and Wi-Fi connectivity that you can program using existing tools like the Arduino IDE.



A next-generation, Arduino and Raspberry Pi-compatible dev kit for robotic motion structure systems and 3D printers that boasts an Atmel | SMART SAM D21 at its core.



A dedicated security peripheral for the Arduino and was made in collaboration with SparkFun’s previous hacker-in-residence, Josh Datko. This shield adds specialized ICs that perform various cryptographic operations which will allow you to add a hardware security layer to your Arduino project.



An add-on board that makes it easy to secure your Raspberry Pi and Linux applications.

Flip & Click


A two-sided, Arduino-like board with an AT91SAM3X8E for its heart.



An open source toolchain for embedded hardware security research including side-channel power analysis and glitching. The board uses a Spartan 6 LX9, along with a 105 MS/s ADC, low-noise amplifier, an Atmel | SMART SAM3U chip for high-speed USB communication, MOSFETs for glitch generation and an XMEGA128 as a target device.



An Arduino Leonardo-like board with built-in NFC that lets you replace your keys with any smartphone, NFC ring or proximity card.



An inexpensive, open source and shrunken-down version of the Arduino Zero that boasts a 32-bit ATSAMD21G18 running at 48MHz and packing 32K of RAM.



An open source, Arduino-compatible board with an ATmega32U4, ESP8266 Wi-Fi module and lithium-ion battery support.



An ATmega32U4-powered, 8-bit synthesizer that enables you to create NES, C64 and Amiga-style chiptune music by simply connecting a MIDI device.

Zodiac FX


An OpenFlow switch that is powerful enough to develop world-changing SDN apps yet small enough to sit on your desk. Based on an Atmel | SMART SAM4E, the unit includes four 10/100 Fast Ethernet ports with integrated magnetics and indicator LEDs along with a command line interface accessible via USB virtual serial port.

Goldilocks Analogue


A board that brings sophisticated analog and audio input, output and storage capabilities to the Arduino environment.



A super small and expandable IoT system for Makers.



A smart display that features an Atmel | SMART SAM D21 MCU operating at 48MHz and packing 32K of RAM, along with a 1.5” 128×128 pixel OLED screen and a microSD slot.



An Arduino crammed inside an SD card.

… and how could we not mention this?

The WTFDuino!


Do you feel like today’s MCUs are too simple and sensible? Well, one Maker decided to take a different approach by “undesigning” the Arduino into a banana-shaped processor whose form factor is impossible to breadboard and whose pins are incorrectly labelled.


PupPod is a smart dog toy that trains and entertains

Man’s best friend is smart. His toys, not so much… until now. 

For dog owners, do you ever wonder what your pup does when you’re away? Or maybe you do know because you’ve had the experience of coming home to destroyed furniture, garbage strewn on the floor, and… an anxious dog. This destructive behavior has been attributed to separation anxiety in dogs, so what can you do to keep your best friend from feeling lonely? Canine owner and software designer Erick Eidus has a solution.


Meet PupPod, an interactive, self-learning pet toy that helps reduce boredom, anxiety and destructive behavior in dogs, while also helping them learn new skills when you’re out for the day. Eidus had conceived the idea after he started thinking of games from a dog’s perspective and how pet parents could better understand their pet, check in on them and even interact with them when at work. He brought this idea to an Arduino meet-up, and it materialized in just 48 hours. After testing over 250 dogs across five prototypes, the Maker and his team are now ready to make PupPod available to a community of pilot users.


PupPod is a smart platform that is wirelessly connected to a treat dispenser, video camera and an accompanying mobile app. The unit offers a new use of the operant conditioning method by having your dog play multi-level games and earn treat rewards. You can stream live video, make decisions in the game, trigger treats remotely and record videos. You can also review your dog’s progress, monitor and set limits to treat/food rewards, as well as understand what they’re learning all through your own doggy dashboard. Aside from that, the gives you access to a growing PupPod community and a leaderboard so you can compare your four-legged companion to your friends or other dogs of similar age and breed.


Built around the LightBlue Bean (ATmega328P), the PupPod is comprised of three components: an incredibly tough and durable Kong Wobbler to house the toy; a PupPod Hub which includes a 720p HD camera, Bluetooth integration and a RaspberryPi B+ to send data and video to the PupCloud; and a treat dispenser. The platform employs a motion sensor to detect when your dog comes near and emits sounds from an internal speaker to get your dog’s attention. The toy communicates with the PupPod Hub over Wi-Fi and uses an accelerometer to sense motion when it’s touched.

Eidus and his team have just wrapped up a successful Kickstarter campaign, and hope to get the first batch of toys out come February. Interested in one of your own? Check out PupPod’s official page here.

20 smart crowdfunding campaigns you may want to back this week

Every Friday, we’re taking a look at some of the smartest, most innovative projects that caught our attention on Kickstarter and Indiegogo over the last seven days. 

LightBlue Bean+


This Arduino-compatible board is programmed wirelessly using Bluetooth Low Energy. Punch Through Design has well surpassed its goal of $30,000.



This LED collar uses GPS, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi technologies to keep your dog safe while tracking and organizing their activities in real-time. Squeaker is currently $281,233 on Kickstarter.



This super small, modular set of boards is like LEGO for building IoT devices. Pontus Oldberg is currently seeking $4,058 on Kickstarter.

NFire 1


This completely expandable 3D printer adapts to your needs, whether it’s doubling its height or upgrading to a dual extruder. NFire Labs is currently seeking $46,788 on Kickstarter.



This simple-to-install smart switch lets you control your lights wirelessly via Bluetooth. Brothers Lab is currently seeking $21,949 on Kickstarter.



This ultra-rapid cooling and heating system for your bed hacks into your body’s natural biorhythm to wake you up gradually. BedJet has well surpassed its goal of $24,000.

Digital Potbelly


This open source, fully-programmable thermometer makes brewing beer at home easier than ever before. Zach King is currently seeking $8,800 on Kickstarter.



This smart bike helmet features a built-in microphone, a three-axis G-sensor, Bluetooth speakers and LEDs to enhance the cycling experience. LIVALL Riding has well surpassed its goal of $20,000 on Indiegogo.



This wearable accessory fits in your ear to track ovulation and monitor hormonal health, helping women take advantage of their fertility windows. Yono Labs is currently seeking $30,000 on Kickstarter.

Ola Fingerprint Smart Lock


This smart lock is equipped with Bluetooth connectivity and capacitive fingerprint technology, making it not only keyless but phoneless as well. Ola is currently seeking $25,000 on Indiegogo.

SmartPrompt Pan


This smart pan boasts an LCD touchscreen display that enables you to easily follow step-by-step cooking instructions. The Key Ingredient is currently seeking $40,000 on Indiegogo.



This unique pen allows you to draw functional circuits right on paper or specially-coated transparent film. Nectro is currently seeking $38,131 on Kickstarter.



This smart home automation system will reduce your energy consumption and maximize efficiency by sensibly managing all available resources. Exahome is currently seeking $80,000 on Indiegogo.



These wearable sensors can electronically detect blows from magnetically-enhanced foam swords, ninja stars and blaster darts. Adam Cohen is currently seeking $50,000 on Kickstarter.



This DIY, Arudino-powered kit demystifies robotics by illustrating the basic principles of mechanics, electronics and computation. HAL-e Industries is currently seeking $6,000 on Kickstarter.



This shield is a simple way to interface LEGO power functions, motors, Bluetooth and Arduino. Michael Hudson is currently seeking $1,046 on Kickstarter.



This battery-free, lightweight amp works with your headphones and smartphones to improve the output audio quality. NEXUM has well surpassed its goal of $16,000 on Kickstarter.



This fingerprint-protected USB device allows you to log into any account on any computer with just your fingerprint. Crypta is currently seeking $80,000 on Kickstarter.



This high-capacity, portable power bank is designed for maximum efficiency. PowerFilm Solar is currently seeking $250,000 on Kickstarter.

Formula AllCode


This Bluetooth-enabled robot buggy is programmable via Python, AppBuilder, Flowcode 6, Matlab, LabView, C, C# and more. Matrix TSL is currently seeking $18,737 on Kickstarter.

Did you happen to miss last week’s notable campaigns? If so, you can check them out here. Also, if your project is powered by Atmel MCUs and you’ve been featured on our blog, be sure to download the respective badges here for use in your ongoing marketing efforts. 

We Picked Atmel Rectangle_Yellow_updated_062315

The LightBlue Bean+ is an Arduino-like BLE board

The LightBlue Bean+ is an Arduino-compatible board that can be wirelessly programmed using Bluetooth Low Energy.

Last year, the Punch Through Design crew introduced the LightBlue Bean to the Maker community, an Arduino-compatible board with built-in Bluetooth Low Energy support. Unsurprisingly, the microcontroller became an immediate hit as Makers were able to upload their codes wirelessly and manage their projects right from their smartphones. Now with over 25,000 Beans sold since its debut, the team has once again returned with its bigger, better and bolder brother: the LightBlue Bean+.


The latest addition to the LightBlue Bean family boasts solderless connectors, 16 GPIOs and a rechargeable LiPo battery, as well as a longer range than its sibling. This enables it to communicate up to 1,300 feet with its fellow Bean+’s or be remotely controlled by smartphone at a distance of 820 feet.

As expected, the Bean+ can be wirelessly programmed from any of today’s most popular platforms, including OS X, Windows, iOS and Android. Meaning, you can write code at the comfort of your PC using the standard Arduino IDE, or on-the-fly with its special iOS and Android Bean Loader apps. What’s more, you can even configure multiple Beans at once.


Once again based on the versatile ATmega328P, the newest Bean features a built-in accelerometer, a temperature sensor and an RGB LED. Aside from its 600mAh battery, the board includes a microUSB port for juicing up the Bean+ wherever you go, or hooking it up to a USB solar charger for optimal portability. (Keep in mind that the Bean+ is programmed over-the-air, so the microUSB connector is simply for charging.) On top of that, the Bean+ has a switch for selecting between 3.3V or 5V as the operating voltage, and ships with two types of connectors — 0.1″ pitch female headers and Grove connectors from Seeed Studio.


Kicking the functionality of the original up a notch, the Bean+ boasts several exciting capabilities: beacon, MIDI, HID, Apple Notification Center Service (ANCS) and observer role. For instance, you can easily configure your MCU to trigger events whenever a device is nearby, or employ the BLE advertisement packets and the observer role to send simple messages between your Beans.

Or through the MIDI profile, you can transmit MIDI data and use it as an instrument with apps like GarageBand. Not to mention, the ANCS allows the Bean+ to receive notifications from any of your iPhone, iPad or any other Apple gadget. Heck, you can even write a sketch to have it blink an LED when your friend sends a text and ring a bell as your Uber ride arrives. The possibilities are truly endless.


Aside from all that, the BLE unit also includes the start of a shield ecosystem with protoboard shield and Grove shield that lets you plug in up to 18 Grove accessories into a single Bean+.

For those who are still gung-ho on the original Bean, not to worry. The Punch Through Design team says it’s here to stay and will actually undergo a transformation of its own later this year. Not before long, it receive all the new Bluetooth Low Energy capabilities, including ANCS and HID.

Looking for a BLE Arduino-like board for your next IoT project? Look no further than the LightBlue Bean+. Punch Through is currently seeking $30,000 on Kickstarter, and the first batch is expected to ship in December 2015.

Creating a water-squirting, Twitter-enabled Super Soaker

What’s better than a motorized Super Soaker? A motorized Super Soaker that can blast water when it detects motion. 

As fun as water balloon fights may be, when it comes to summertime fun, nothing beats a good ol’ Super Soaker battle with friends. That is unless, of course, you decide to up your outdoor H2O warfare arsenal with some motion sensing water guns.


Instructables user “aderhgawen” has developed a water spraying intruder alarm based on a LightBlue Bean (ATmega328P) along with a PIR motion sensor. Not only does the modded Super Soaker Thunderstorm automatically squirt water when it detects movement, it also triggers a nearby computer to snap a photo of the victim and tweets it. This is accomplished through the combination of Node-RED and Python to link the MCU to Twitter.


In order to pull off this project, the Maker tore down the original Soaker’s casing and cut one of the battery wires. He then lengthened the exposed ends and ran them out of the gun to his control circuit. Beyond that, he connected a protection diode to help prevent any reverse EMF from damaging his more sensitive electronics. Since this gadget has a motorized pump, he used a MOSFET on a breadboard to drive its motor, allowing it to be controlled by the Bean.


The system itself runs on a computer and monitors the Bean’s serial output. If motion is detected, it triggers a Python script and captures a photo via the webcam. A second script will upload that photo to a Twitter account. The Node-RED server can also monitor the Twitter account for incoming direct messages. If it receives a message with a verified password, it can use the rest of the message as one of four commands to enable or disable the Super Soaker.

Are you looking to take your water gun fight to the next level? Check out the Maker’s entire project on Instructables here.

Pet Tutor Blu is a universal smart training and game system for dogs

Pet Tutor Blu combines a BLE-enabled feeder and a mobile app to make an advanced game-and-training station for you and your pet.

As lovable as they may be, dogs can sometimes be a challenge to live with. Between excessive barking, chewing things, going to the bathroom inside the house, rummaging through the trash, eating too fast or suffering with separation anxiety, reward-based training has become a proven technique in an helping curb these issues.


Developed with this in mind, Smart Animal Training Systems has launched a Kickstarter campaign for the Pet Tutor Blua wireless system consisting of a feeder and a LightBlue Bean-powered (ATmega328P) remote that trains, rewards and provides hours of fun and interactive play for man’s best friend.

The aptly named Pet Tutor Blu combines the many benefits of its earliest predecessors with some of today’s most advanced technology. This includes rewarding good behavior with strategically timed treats, calming a fearful dog with remote-controlled food delivery, creating personalized training protocols and feeding schedules, adding a webcam, and expanding the capabilities of other Internet-enabled accessories, all through an accompanying mobile app (available on both iOS and Android).


In addition, the next-gen system comes with an optional, ATmega328P based Smart Clicker that can transform ordinary dog toys into smart training tools. Employing the scientifically proven technique of clicker training, the gadget features an on-board computer tasked with displaying feedback on timing, rewards and success rates to enhance the effectiveness of training. Meanwhile, a tilt sensor embedded inside the Smart Clicker triggers the feeder located in close proximity, encouraging the dog to run back and forth between the feeder and the toy.

Pet Tutor Blu also features an accompanying app, which allows users to control multiple feeders individually or up to eight simultaneously, set feeder times and training parameters, customize the Smart Clicker with preferred sounds and volumes, as well as access the app library for newly-connected objects.


What’s more, those who’ve ever had an idea for a training program or game can now do so. Designed with an open architecture, Makers and developers have the ability to create new games, apps and training programs for their beloved pet using its accompanying API. Beyond that, Pet Tutor Blu features a plethora of exciting games not only for the pet, but the owner too, like Timing Tutor that sharpens a user’s training precision.

Have a pup you’d like to train? Hurry over to its official Kickstarter page, where the Smart Animal Training Systems crew is currently seeking $30,000. Shipment is expected to begin in December 2015 — just in time for the holidays!