Acrylic have a new Windows-based Bluetooth LE Analyzer that can be used to check for and test Bluetooth devices. The application has a scanner showing the Bluetooth signal strength range (RSSI):
It also provides analysis using dynamic and customizable graphs showing RSSI (signal strength), signal distribution over time and approximate device distance. A BLE beacon viewer shows detailed information on Low Energy Bluetooth devices. The BLE Packet Analyzer explores Bluetooth packet contents:
There’s also an inventory system to keep track of your devices. The free version scans, detects iBeacons and visualises signal strength. The licensed version has the packet analyzer, inventory and advanced filtering.
There’s recently been a new release of the Bluetooth Test Platform (BTP) software package that now provides support for a Bluetooth Virtual Sniffer (BTVS), a graphical tool that collects HCI packets between Windows and the Bluetooth radio controller. Packets can be viewed live in the packet analyzer tool.
Analyzer packet formats include Wireshark, Ellisys and Frontline. There’s a video with further information.
The open source code advertises Eddystone-URL, Eddystone-UID and Eddystone-TLM. Examples are provided.
When doing a Windows Update it’s possible Bluetooth sometimes stops working. If you go to Device Manager you will see the Bluetooth icon with or without devices.
Windows sometimes removes hardware drivers or replaces them with ones that don’t work. To fix this go to Device Manager and click on the Bluetooth icon. If there are items, right click them and select ‘Update driver’. Click on ‘Search automatically for drivers’. If it doesn’t find anything, select ‘Search for updated drivers on Windows Update’.
If no Bluetooth items are showing, right click the computer name at the top and use ‘Scan for hardware changes’. If it still doesn’t work go to the web site support for your desktop/laptop manufacturer and look for and download the Bluetooth drivers.
Most Bluetooth development is focussed on Android, iOS and Linux. However, it’s also possible to use Bluetooth on Microsoft Windows.
BluetoothLEExplorer is a free app that allows you to scan for Bluetooth devices and read/write Bluetooth Service Characteristics. If you wish to create your own variant of the app or learn how to use Bluetooth on Windows, the source code for BluetoothLEExplorer is on GitHub.
Bluetooth Framework is a library for using Bluetooth on Windows. There are editions for .NET, c++ and VCL. While the framework has many features, those of particular interest to Bluetooth LE developers are:
Enumerating and managing local Bluetooth radios
Searching for remote Bluetooth enabled devices
Bluetooth LE (BLE) GATT profile client
Monitor Bluetooth LE beacons: Proximity beacon (iBeacon), Alt Beacon and Eddystone Beacons
Untuiface is one of a growing number of products incorporating beacons in their functionality. Untuiface allows you to build interactive multi-touch kiosk type screens without writing any code.
It’s possible to use iBeacons to trigger actions. For a static kiosk, things or people coming close can trigger content. For a moving kiosk, such as a tablet, content can change depending on how close the tablet is to particular areas or things.
The settings provide for actions when beacon advertisements are detected, change or are lost thus providing for different types of interaction. Untuiface have an example to show contextual information as items are picked up from or replaced to their original position.
There’s a new updated version of the Universal Bluetooth Beacon Library that works on Windows 10 (UWP) and Android (Xamarin). The core library also works on iOS, Mac and Linux. It allows you to write applications to parse iBeacon and Eddystone advertising.