$25 Texas Instruments SensorTag is a Bluetooth LE Devkit with 6 Sensors

Yesterday, I wrote about Wimoto Motes, tiny Bluetooth LE devices with several sensors that can be controlled and monitored via an iOS app, and soon by an Android app, as well as Linux devices. Each mote costs $39 plus shipping, and one commenter mentioned the price may be a bit too high. A Google search for “bluetooth sensor” immediately brings TI SensorTag, which looks somewhat similar, except it is a Bluetooth LE development kit, includes 6 sensors (but no light sensor), and only costs $25 including shipping.


SensorTag Specifications:

  • Bluetooth 4.0 low energy (CC2541) SoC
  • 6 sensors connected via I2C:
    • IR Temperature sensor (TI TMP006)
    • Humidity sensor (Sensirion SHT21)
    • Pressure sensor (Epcos T5400)
    • Accelerometer (Kionix KXTJ9)
    • Gyroscope (InvenSense IMU-3000)
    • Magnetometer (Freescale MAG3110)
  • Power – Single cell coin cell battery (CR2032), quiescent current consumption of 8uA, allowing years of battery life.
  • FCC, IC and ETSI certified solution
  • Dimension – 71.2x36x15.5 mm, PCB: 57x25x1.5 mm

TI_SensorTag_AppSensorTag devkit comes with a SensorTag with an enclosure, one CR2032 battery, one screw, and a quick start guide.

This development kit is mainly designed for smartphone app developers as no embedded software designer or compiler is required.  Currently SensorTag only works with iOS and Windows PC, but it will eventually support Android, once a standard Bluetooth 4.0 LE (SMART) API is available. However, if you check out the Wiki, you’ll find some instructions are also available for HTC Once, and Linux devices (Raspberry Pi).

To get started, download and install TI SensorTag app to your Bt 4.0 enabled iOS device (iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod Touch, or the new iPad), press the side button on the SensorTag to connect the two devices, and play around with the sensors from the application.
The application also has a “Generate Source Code” button to show you the source code. Sample code can also be downloaded from TI website.

If you don’t have an iOS device, you can also install BLE Device Monitor to communicate with SensorTag from a Windows 7/XP computer fitted with CC2540 USB dongle, or possibly, another Bluetooth 4.0 LE compliant USB dongle (TBC).

Finally the company also provides CC2540/41 Bluetooth low energy (BLE) software development kit for both the controller and host, as well as the hardware files (Schematics, BoM, and PCB layout) for the kit.

If you’re interested in an introduction about Bluetooth 4.0 LE, and learn how to use and program SensorTag, you can watch the short 15-minutes video tutorial below.

For further information, visit http://www.ti.com/sensortag.

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