Arduino & Bluetooth

Was playing with an HC-06 Bluetooth board today:

Was able to successfully pair with this from my phone and send commands via a Bluetooth terminal on the phone to the Arduino, although I found the communications very difficult to maintain. Here’s my brief review of IR vs Bluetooth communications:

Bluetooth Pros:

– It can communicate lots of information
– It’s supported on Android and Apple phones
– You can write phone applications for it
– No library required on the Arduino

Bluetooth Cons:

– It does so to one paired device at a time only (as far as I know).
– I found that the connectivity was very unreliable. I got a lot of timeout errors.

IR Pros:

– More reliable than Bluetooth
– Can communicate with multiple receivers at once

IR Cons:

– Very limited communications available (no terminal emulation)
– Requires an IR library on the Arduino
– Not as universal as Bluetooth
– Can’t create a cool phone application around it
– Won’t work with FastLED and WS2812B LED’s.
– Requires a specialty transmitter. Don’t lose it!

I was quite disappointed with the issues I’d been having with Bluetooth.

1) Never got Bluetooth running on my computer.
2) It was unreliable on my ASUS TF700T tablet.
3) Was also unreliable on my Nexus 4 phone.

At the end of the day, ease of use and reliability are of utmost importance.

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