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The LightBlue Bean+ is an Arduino-compatible board that is programmed wirelessly using Bluetooth Low Energy.
The LightBlue Bean+ is an Arduino-compatible board that is programmed wirelessly using Bluetooth Low Energy.
1,924 backers pledged $165,813 to help bring this project to life.

About

A Bluetooth Arduino for the mobile age: LightBlue Bean+ project video thumbnail
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$165,813

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Our Kickstarter campaign has ended, but if you missed it, you can still pre-order your Bean+ at https://punchthrough.com/bean-plus

The LightBlue Bean+ is an Arduino-compatible board that you program wirelessly using Bluetooth Low Energy

The Bean+ is the latest addition to the LightBlue Bean family: a line of easy-to-use, wireless Arduinos. With new Bluetooth Low Energy capabilities, solderless connectors, 16 GPIOs, a rechargeable battery and enough range to program your neighbor's neighbor's Beans.

Wireless programming

The Bean+ can be programmed from your favorite platforms: OS X, Windows, iOS and Android. All programming is done wirelessly and you can even program multiple Beans at once. No wires; no worries.

The most talented Bean you've ever met

The Bean+ comes equipped with five new Bluetooth Low Energy capabilities: beacon, MIDI, HID, ANCS and observer role.

Have the Bean+ receive your Apple notifications during the weekdays, be a MIDI instrument by Friday and work the weekends as a keyboard or a mouse. Then let it spend its holidays socializing with other Beans.

Hardware Features

Built-in accelerometer, temperature sensor and RGB LED

The Bean+ comes with an on-board accelerometer and temperature sensor. Use the accelerometer to make MIDI maracas or receive a notification when your pink-belly short-neck turtle's terrarium is getting too hot. 

Boosted range

With a new RF amplifier, the Bean+ can communicate with other Bean+'s from up to 400 meters (1,300 ft) under ideal conditions, or 250 meters (820 ft) to your smartphone. Upload a new sketch to your tree house Bean+ without having to leave your bed, or turn on epic welcoming music in your house before you even pull into to your driveway. 

Rechargeable battery

Every Bean+ has a 600 mAh rechargeable battery, running for over a year on one charge when programmed with a low-power sketch. 

The added micro-USB port allows you to charge the Bean+ wherever you go. Or go totally mobile and hook it up to a USB solar charger! Keep in mind that the Bean+ is programmed wirelessly, so the micro-USB connector is just for charging. 

The Bean+ is suited for projects requiring higher current draw, such as powering servo motors or high-power LEDs.

Plug and play accessories

The Bean+ comes with two types of connectors: 0.1" pitch female headers and Grove connectors developed by Seeed Studio. Grove is a new building-block style system, useful for hooking up all different kinds of sensors, input or output devices.

The MEGA and GIGA reward include a Grove starter kit with a potentiometer, buzzer, touch sensor, button and a 10 segment LED bar, ready to be plugged in.

Choose your operating voltage

The Bean+ has a switch that lets you choose between 3.3V or 5V as the operating voltage. So no more voltage level translation to make the Bean+ work with your favorite accessories.

Bluetooth Low Energy Capabilities

Wireless programming

The Bean+ can be programmed from most iOS, OS X, Windows and Android devices with Bluetooth Low Energy capabilities. Write code at the comfort of your computer using the standard Arduino IDE, or on-the-fly using our iOS and Android Bean Loader apps.

Interacts with your iPhone without iOS programming

The Bean+ is perfect for any smartphone-controlled project. Use our app LightBlue to quickly interact with the Bean+ without having to make your own app. Make a smartphone-controlled hovercraft or use your iPhone to turn the lights on and off in your roommate's bedroom.

iOS and Android SDKs

We provide official iOS, OS X and Android SDKs that help you develop smartphone apps that interact with the Bean+. These have been been put to the test by our own apps, as well as many built by our community. 

Bean to Bean communication

Your Bean+ can talk to other Beans! This feature uses BLE advertisement packets and the observer role to send simple messages between Beans.

Make music with MIDI

With the MIDI profile, the Bean+ can send and receive MIDI data and be used as an instrument with apps like GarageBand.

Receive notifications with ANCS

Apple Notification Center Service (ANCS) allows the Bean+ to receive any of your Apple device's notifications. Write a sketch that blinks an LED when a special friend sends a text, or rings a bell when your Uber is arriving. 

HID

Use the Bean+ as a wireless mouse or keyboard with the Human Interface Device (HID) profile. Works with smartphones, tablets and computers.

Easy web integration

Example use of a Bean+ with Node-RED
Example use of a Bean+ with Node-RED

Quickly connect the Bean+ to the Internet using Node-RED or OctoBlu: two visual programming interfaces for the Internet of things.

Beacon

The Bean+ can easily be configured as a Beacon and lets you trigger events in your app whenever your device is close by.

The latest addition to the Bean family

The Bean+ is a new hardware flavor of the LightBlue Bean. Its solderless connectors, boosted range and powerful battery open new possibilities for projects and make it easy for developers to use.

The original Bean is here to stay, as it's still a compact and low-power prototyping platform. Later this year, it will receive all the new Bluetooth Low Energy capabilities, such as MIDI, ANCS, HID, and observer role.

Both Bean products are software compatible. Our Bean Loaders and SDKs work with both Beans and your Arduino sketches can be used interchangeably.

Reward Tiers

Pick and choose how you want your Beans! Alone, or with a Grove starter kit consisting of a potentiometer, buzzer, touch sensor, button and a 10 segment LED bar. Or go big with our protoboard shield and a Grove shield that lets you plug in up to 18 Grove accessories to one Bean+.

Want more? Add any of these amounts to your pledge and we’ll send you extra stuff when the campaign has ended. Feel free to add a combination of items; we’ll know which items you picked from the amount. It is as simple as that!

The protoboard and Grove shield developed for the Bean+
The protoboard and Grove shield developed for the Bean+

Help us spread the word!

Community

We're very proud of our customers and the amazing projects they've built. Our Bean products have been used by all kinds of people: makers, engineers, students, teachers, entrepreneurs, product developers, designers, NASA (true story) and turtles (also true story).

Buying a Bean+ means joining a family: we already have 25,000 original Beans in the wild and an active forum with over 5,000 posts.

Apps from our community

Our community has developed various Bean apps and added Bean support to their existing apps, by using the iOS and Android SDKs. 

The Bean Console app allows you to send and receive serial data from the Bean, perfect for debugging or controlling Beans from iOS. Made by our forum superuser Bruce Walker

Tickle allows you to program real-world objects, including the Bean, with a drag-and-drop block style interface.

Handy allows you to create a custom interface that can communicate directly with the Bean.

Powered by the LightBlue Platform

The LightBlue Platform is a collection of firmware and app SDKs that make it easier to develop a connected product. It's hardware agnostic, so you can design for mass production, and use a custom form factor. 

After you've shipped your product early, you can iterate on your design by releasing firmware updates via the web. 

Parakey, UrbnEarthWej and Pet Tutor are all products developed using the LightBlue Bean and the LightBlue Platform.

Meet the team

We are the Punch Through team! We like beans, Beans, burritos, beer and EAGLE's Autorouter. JOKE.

We are also separate human beings and like individual things too. Colin loves surfing. Simone on the other hand is terrified of waves. Matt's body was built on string cheese, whereas Ray's body detests all dairy. We have names too. Here they are (from left to right in the photo, kind of):

  • Ashish Derhgawen
  • Zeke Shearer
  • James Coughlin
  • Corin Rypkema
  • Karel Kalthoff
  • Simone Giertz
  • Nathan Heidt
  • Colin Karpfinger
  • Stephen Stack
  • Mike Waddick
  • Matt Rengo
  • Matt Lewis
  • Zachary Drew
  • Ray Kampmeier 
  • Michael Brown
  • Nadine Hachouche (joined after the photo was taken)
  • Connor Dunne (was waiting for his pour-over when the photo was taken)
BTW, did you like our Kickstarter video? We did too. It was shot by 1013media, check them out!

Risks and challenges

We already have working prototypes of the Bean+, including a good portion of the software. We've been planning the Bean+ since January, and our factory is preparing for our purchase order.

Forecasting Risk

We have made forecasts for sales based on the current Bean sales, but there is a chance that we will need more units. In this case we'll be transparent about any delays or updates.

Radio Certifications

We plan to test the RF emissions of the Bean+, in the interest of providing a proper example to anyone who wants to use the Bean+ as a reference guide when designing their own hardware. However, since the Bean+ is a subassembly, and is subject to whatever is connected to it, it is not required that we undergo testing at a TCB (telecommunications certification body). There is a risk that we will need to make modifications to our antenna and build another round of prototypes, which could cause a delay.

Our team has experience designing and certifying all kinds of RF products, so we feel we are prepared for this.

Supply Chain

We have strong manufacturing, distribution and fulfillment partners that we have been using for almost 2 years, so we are confident in our ability to build and ship products. However this is always a challenge for any company, even those who have plenty of experience. Our shipping dates are estimates, and while we can't be 100% sure of them, we will continually provide transparent updates and do our best to ship early.

We shipped on time during our last crowdfunding campaign, and it's our goal to do that again this time.

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Support

  1. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $33 or more About $33

    PICO PACK (Early Bird): One Bean+, over 25% cheaper than retail!

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $39 or more About $39

    PICO PACK: One Bean+, over 10% cheaper than retail!

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    438 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $78 or more About $78

    NANO PACK: Two Bean+'s, over 10% cheaper than retail.

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    93 backers
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  4. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    MEGA PACK (Early Bird): Two Bean+'s and a Grove Starter Pack full of plug-in accessories, 25% cheaper than retail!

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    Reward no longer available 250 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $84 or more About $84

    MEGA PACK: Two Bean+'s and a Grove Starter Pack full of plug-in accessories, with a 20% discount!

    Think of the amazing things you can build with multiple Beans and easy plug in Grove accessories!

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    676 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $164 or more About $164

    GIGA PACK: Get FOUR Bean+'s, the Grove Starter Pack, the Grove expander shield (with 16 Grove connectors) AND a protoboard shield! All with a 20% discount.

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    201 backers
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Funding period

- (30 days)