Looking for a Bluetooth LE Peripheral device
December 13, 2017 7:00 AM   Subscribe

A client wants me to prototype a game interaction with an external device using Bluetooth. I need a device to test the prototype with until they figure out what the actual device will be.

The game is being developed in Unity for Android/iOS. I've found a plugin that lets Unity talk to Bluetooth peripherals, now I just need a peripheral to test with until they figure out what the actual device will be.


  • A Bluetooth LE peripheral
  • Has some way of displaying state, preferably an LED
  • Has some way of accepting input, e.g. a button
  • Documentation for developers to interact with it
  • Ideally not too hard to setup
  • Preferably under $50
  • posted by justkevin to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
    Best answer: Take a look at the BBC micro:bit - has Bluetooth, multiple buttons, a simple display and was designed for school children to work with.

    Should be less than $20
    posted by azlondon at 7:34 AM on December 13, 2017

    Hm, I don't think it's particularly open, but the 2017 version of the NVidia Shield remote is a Bluetooth LE device, has buttons, and I believe still has a dimmable LED. The controller and the pre-2017 remote are WiFi Direct (and regular BT) so don't fit the bill at all.
    posted by wierdo at 9:49 AM on December 13, 2017

    Best answer: seconding the micro:bit, but cautioning that its BT implementation has limits that may prevent it being a full peripheral. It is cheap, though.
    posted by scruss at 10:11 AM on December 13, 2017

    I've used the TI SensorTag for approximately this purpose. It's nice as it's a standalone platform that pretty much works out-of-the-box. There's also the MakerChips BluChip, but that requires more support than you might want to build for a prototype.
    posted by multics at 10:14 AM on December 13, 2017

    Response by poster: For anyone stumbling on this question from the future: The BBC micro bit may have some BT limitations (for example cannot be used in conjunction with code written in Python due to memory limitations), and seems to be rather finicky about pairing. But it is possible to communicate with using a custom Unity app to point of connecting and reading button inputs.
    posted by justkevin at 3:42 PM on December 19, 2017

    « Older Recommend me a durable Windows laptop   |   Host/ess gifts to keep on hand? Newer »
    This thread is closed to new comments.