lighblue bean

Punch Through Design announced that the company’s popular LightBlue Bean has been used to create the winning device at the Bluetooth World Hack Challenge.

Developer Richard Grundy leveraged the Bean’s onboard functionality to create Bleepio, an appcessory that lets people talk to their appliances via smartphone. Bleepio installs between plug and outlet allowing homeowners to monitor appliance usage, check power draw, and link to external home improvement store accounts to alert when refills are needed and when warranty or return limits are up. Using energy readings relayed from a Kill A Watt® meter, Grundy connected in the Bean and programmed Bleepio core functionality using Punch Through’s Bean SDK and Mac OSX Loader app. Beyond interacting remotely with appliances, Bleepio also can turn devices off when you leave home as well as predict when they are about to fail.

“Beans are a great development tool for mashing up products with BLE support,” said Grundy, founder of Flomio, a Florida-based startup that helps developers integrate proximity ID technologies.

The Bean is one of the core components of the LightBlue Ecosystem, used by large and small companies to rapidly create smartphone-controlled prototypes. Comprised of software and hardware that makes developing a Bluetooth-enabled product faster than ever before, the combination of RF certified Bean and cross-platform software standardizes and speeds BLE development on iOS, Mac OS X and Windows smartphones, tablets and laptops/desktops.

Since its introduction in early 2014, the versatile and low-cost Bean has continued to evolve with capabilities that position it squarely for Internet of Things project development. Punch Through recently added Node-RED support to allow easy integration of Beans into the cloud, for example – opening up Bean interaction with other Beans or hardware as well as interfacing with Twitter, Facebook, email and the ability to make and receive HTTP requests. When coupled with the inexpensive Raspberry Pi, developers can link hundreds of Beans together to open the door for products and services that benefit consumers, educators, students, artists, marketers and businesses looking to leverage mobile and the web.

“The value that LightBlue Beans provide to corporate product development teams – the ability for fast prototyping of Bluetooth and Internet-connected devices – also make the LightBlue ecosystem the perfect choice for hackathons and timed innovation events,” said Colin Karpfinger, founder and CEO of Punch Through Design. “While we’ve designed Beans to be easy to use, they are powerful — your Bean prototype can easily take you into production, meaning that work here on site could be the basis for a new product in a very short period of time.”

The 30-hour Bluetooth World Hackathon creates on-the-spot teams of technologists and industry stakeholders to shape the next generation of the connected internet. Providing a playful, exploratory environment where disruption and creative ideas are the essential tools for innovation, the Hack gives developers, designers, and entrepreneurs the chance to pitch app and product ideas, form teams, build prototypes and present to the Hackathon judges for a chance to be one of the top Hackathon winners.

“We’ve seen some very interesting devices go from idea to reality in hours in Hackathons throughout the country,” continued Karpfinger, “and we want to congratulate Richard Grundy for developing his innovative Bleepio appcessory at the Bluetooth World event.”

About Punch Through Design

Punch Through Design helps companies build great products by providing hardware, software and expertise. Specializing in Bluetooth-connectivity, Punch Through Design offers market-leading test apps, hardware modules and development services. With offices in San Francisco and Minneapolis filled to the brim with electronics, 2.4GHz traffic and surf gear, the company creates ways for a wide range of users to easily connect devices to the digital world. Punch Through Design also provides consulting services to design and guide products from initial idea to production.