The Bluefruit LE Friend is your new BLE BFF! This USB-to-BLE board makes it easy to get your computer talking to your BLE enabled phone or tablet using a standard serial/UART connection.
In it's simplest form, it works on the same principle as a common USB/Serial adapter. Any data that you enter via your favorite terminal emulator on your development machine will be transferred over the air to the connected phone or tablet, and vice versa, as a basic 'UART' connection
The short and sweet:
The Bluefruit Friend is much more, it has a full BLE peripheral stack and interface software so that you can treat your BLE connection just like a UART connection - that makes it trivial to use with free Terminal software or scripting software like python (with pySerial). Using Bluefruit LE Friend, you can be up and running in under and hour on just about anything with a USB port, with easy migration across platforms and operating systems.
To use, simply plug into your computer and flip the switch to either UART mode (transparent data transfer, anything you type will be sent, and data from phone is received as well) or CoMmanD mode, where thanks to an easy to learn AT command set, you can also create you own basic GATT Services and Characteristics, simulate Beacons, and change the way that the device name appears/advertises itself.
To make sure that your device stays up to date and can benefit from the latest Bluefruit LE firmware from Adafruit, you can also update the firmware on your BLEFriend over the air using any BLE-supported iOS or Android device. We always try to keep the bar as high as possible at Adafruit, and one of the biggest advantages of the BLEFriend and the entire Bluefruit LE family is that we wrote and maintain all of the firmware running on the devices ourelves from scratch and we'll be releasing new firmware and bug fixes without having to rely on a third-party vendor. For super-advanced users, we have an SWD connector on board that can be used to reprogram the nrf51822 using Nordic's SDK and an SWD debugger like the J-Link.
Download our free Android/iOS app and you're ready to rock! Using our Bluefruit iOS App or Android App, you can quickly get your wireless project prototyped by using your iOS or Android phone/tablet as a controller. We have a color picker, quaternion/accelerometer/gyro/magnetometer or location (GPS), and an 8-button control game pad.