mbed Blog

Ö Bluetooth Ring

Wearable technology is a hot topic right now and it seems like a new smartwatch or fitness tracker is announced every other day! But what about having a tiny computer on your finger? What would you want it to control? I recently came across one of the smallest mbed projects we have ever seen before, the Ö Bluetooth Ring. This tiny personal computer was created by Kevin Bates, the founder of the company Arduboy, and we got a chance to chat with him while on his business travel in route to Shenzhen, China via Hawaii.

This 3D printed, bluetooth ring features a 64x32 monochrome OLED display, and touch button. 4+ hours of battery life with the display on and 24+ hours when in standby. It was prototyped using the Seeed Arch BLE, is programmed with mbed and the final design uses the Nordic nRF51822 SoC wrapped up in a Seeed Micro BLE Module.


This ring allows you to receive and reply to notifications from your cell phone, show fun animations, display digital and analog clocks and much more. Bates is currently working on the final design and ring assembly. He plans to move to the CSP (chip scale package), which will decrease the size of the ring making it more comfortable for daily wear. We are looking forward to seeing how this project progresses and are eager to try it out ourselves.



If you've taken a project from prototype to production (or are in pre-production) we'd love to hear about it. Send a message to support@mbed.org and tell us about it!

Team mbed at AT&T Developer Summit Hackathon

‘Team mbed’ is back again at the AT&T Developer Summit Hackathon in Las Vegas, NV, Jan 3-4.


After a very inspiring and sleepless weekend at the AT&T Hackathon – Code for Car and Home in September, we have gathered Freescale Semiconductor, Multi-Tech Systems, Nordic Semiconductor, ST Microelectronics, u-blox and ARM back together again to form ‘Team mbed.’ We will be offering a ‘smorgasbord’ of sensors and actuators to go along with a variety of hardware platforms to choose from based on your I/O and connectivity needs (Bluetooth®, cellular, Ethernet, and Wi-Fi®). This event is a great place for developers to explore new hardware, experiment with innovative ideas and get guidance from the experts…not to mention the great food and grand prizes! This year the first place winner will be taking home $25,000 USD, second place with $10,000 USD and third place with $5,000 USD!

We are giving first priority to our sensor and actuator collection to those whom complete our form to help identify the best hardware and components for your project. Fill out the form here!

All the information you need from ‘Team mbed’ can also be found here: https://developer.mbed.org/teams/ATT-Hackathon/

If plan on being one of the winning teams, you may also want to start thinking about how you will deliver your winning pitch to the panel of judges, check out some helpful tips at the bottom of this post.

We are looking forward to seeing everyone there and good luck!

mbed Activity Roundup – December 2014

It has been a while since the last activity roundup and the mbed team has been pretty busy! So we thought we would share some highlights from the last few months.


First off, if you haven’t already heard, we made a major announcement at ARM TechCon in October about the new ARM® mbed™ IoT Device Platform. This platform sets out to provide a new software platform and free operating system to simplify and speed up the creation and deployment of the Internet of Things (IoT) products. What that really means is we are making it easier for developers to get access to the tools they need to build internet connected devices and to focus on their value-add features and differentiation.

Find out more about this announcement and take a deeper dive with our overview deck and whitepaper. Also check out:


Game Programming Contest!

Using the RETRO game console that Outrageous Circuits designed around the mBuino platform on mbed, they are calling on all gaming enthusiast to create games for this console. The top 3 games will be selected to win: 1st Place - $1000 USD, 2nd Place - $500 USD, 3rd Place - $250 USD. To find out more about how to get started check out their page, here.

New Sparkfun mbed Starter Kit

Sparkfun just released a new mbed Starter Kit and a set of tutorials that you can find here.

Highlighted Projects


Hackster.io is a pretty cool new(ish) platform that lets you easily display projects and include all the source links you would want. We have started collecting some mbed projects, here. We would love to see more of what the mbed community is working on, so add your projects here!

mbed drives a full size Jeep

Michael Shimniok made his Jeep into an autonomous vehicle with an mbed in control and it won first place at the 2014 Sparkfun Autonomous Vehicle Competition (AVC).

NFC Lamp

Is a "SAD" lamp hacked to become a color changing lamp that can be controlled by placing an NFC-enabled smartphone near it. In this case they used an Android Samsung Galaxy Nexus.

Nordic Pucks

The interns at Nordic have created an internet of things platform for mbed. They are making it easy to rapidly prototype and develop Bluetooth LE enabled devices - get up and running in under 10 lines of code.


20 shields are now fully supported and tested across 10 ST Nucleo platforms on mbed. If you would like to help expand this list of shields and add support for more components on mbed then join the teams: components and shields! /media/uploads/katiedmo/20shields.png

Also the team has been working on creating an easier way for the mbed community to use the pyOCD library for programming and debugging the ARM Cortex®-M microcontrollers using CMSIS-DAP. Check out the update on the work, here.

This last August in Tokyo we had the 10th annual mbed Fest! With about 100 attendees and over 470 unique users viewing the live stream, the group showed off some great demos and presentations. /media/uploads/katiedmo/mbedfest.png

At the AT&T Hackathon @ Super Mobility Week – Code for Car & Home in Las Vegas in September, after a very sleepless night of coding teams Car Bon, Avben Jr, and RideSafe took home the top prizes with their mbed solutions.

  • 1st Place in the Home Automation Challenge & Best use of mbed Award- Car Bon
  • 2nd Place in the Home Automation Challenge - Avben Jr
  • 3rd Place in the Connected Car Challenge - RideSafe

Join us at the AT&T Developer Summit Hackathon just before CES (Jan 3-4) in Las Vegas! 'Team mbed' will be there in full force again with partners from Freescale, MultiTech, Nordic, ST Microelectronics & u-blox. First place takes home $25,000 USD!

Recently added Platforms

Not to mention we have had a multitude of new components added from sensors, internet connectivity to Grove shields.

There is a lot more to look forward to in 2015, so stay tuned!

20 Shields Supported on 10 ST Nucleo Platforms

When STMicroelectronics joined mbed, they were very interested in code quality, shield form factor components and cross target compatibility. This lined up quite well with the development of the mbed automated test suite and our component database initiative - one solid library and example program for all platforms being developed by groups of people all around the world with similar interests.

In fact, ST was the first to pioneer the use of the mbed automated test suite for platform support development on mbed and through it set a quality acceptance criteria for a target support in the mbed SDK.

Some months later, together with the ST team, we are happy to announce that 20 shields are now fully supported and tested across 10 ST Nucleo platforms on mbed. Here is a picture of the hardware used:


While working our way to support these, we noticed that some of the existing libraries have static pin definitions, supposedly from the original hardware they were developed on. Others contain leftover code from a non-mbed software kits/platforms that they were ported from. Also not all of them were well documented and some would have no documentation at all.

We tracked how many of the existing component libraries are regularly maintained and what's the average time for a pull requests to be accepted for component libraries hosted under user (non-team) accounts. We have noticed that in some cases it would take weeks for a pull request to be accepted if the component library author is not around and this makes it hard to contribute and collaborate.

On the hardware side, a small number of shields use a dedicated 6 pin SPI connector, which is not implemented on most of the platforms on mbed and these shields require bridging between the 6 pin SPI connector and D10-D13. Also other shields require similar bridging for PWM connectivity. Once identified these incompatibilities should be explained on the component pages, so everyone can implement the provided workaround (if any).

This lead us to believe we have to set some ground rules to make it work for everyone:

  • References - component libraries should contain no static peripheral code/references
  • Routines - libraries should use the mbed SDK library methods/routines whenever possible
  • Defines - hardware specific defines should be reduced to minimum and parameters should be used instead
  • Documentation - a well documented code is mandatory, not optional
  • Pin naming - example programs should refer to pins using the Arduino pin naming standard, e.g. A0-A5, D0-D15
  • Teams - the code should be published in teams, not in user accounts, so team of developers would manage and accept new contributions
  • Workarounds - any deviation from the shield connectivity standard should be documented on the component page and a workaround provided

To enable a team-managed collaboration workflow, we forked the component libraries and examples into two new teams that everyone can join in - components and shields teams. The components team is focused around any component libraries - either in shield or non-shield form factor, grove, etc. The shields team contains only example programs for shield components and does not contain/support any libraries.

Here's a list of all shields with cross-platform support on mbed:

Shield nameShield typeProduct pageSupport status
/thumb?filename=components/components/appshield_1.png&size=24x16mbed Application ShieldDisplay, SensorsClick to viewSupported
/thumb?filename=components/components/lcd-shield-front-001_large.pngv1308222352&size=24x16Freetronics 16x2 LCDDisplayClick to viewSupported
/thumb?filename=components/components/TFT_Shield.jpg&size=24x16Seeed 2.8" TFT Touch V2DisplayClick to viewSupported
/thumb?filename=components/components/SD_card_shieldV4.0.jpg&size=24x16Seeed SDCard V4bStorageClick to viewSupported
/thumb?filename=components/components/500px-IMG_0039.jpg&size=24x16W5200 EthernetConnectivityClick to viewSupported
/thumb?filename=components/components/IMG_7577.JPG&size=24x16Seeed WifiConnectivityClick to viewSupported
/thumb?filename=components/components/Bluetooth20Sld.jpg&size=24x16Seeed BluetoothConnectivityClick to viewSupported
/thumb?filename=components/components/NFC20SLD.jpg&size=24x16Seeed NFC V2ConnectivityClick to viewSupported
/thumb?filename=components/components/Xbeeshield_01.jpg&size=24x16Seeed XBee V2ConnectivityClick to viewSupported
/thumb?filename=components/components/GPRS_ShieldV2.0.jpg&size=24x16Seeed GPRS V2ConnectivityClick to viewSupported
/thumb?filename=components/components/2014-04-16_22.18.52.jpg&size=24x16Ciseco SRFConnectivityClick to viewSupported
/thumb?filename=components/components/photo_2.JPG&size=24x16Sparkfun GPSSensorsClick to viewSupported
/thumb?filename=components/components/Milti-axis.PNG&size=24x16Freescale Multi-SensorSensorsClick to viewSupported
/thumb?filename=components/components/Motorshield.jpg&size=24x16Seeed Motor V2DriversClick to viewSupported
/thumb?filename=components/components/Shield_bot_01.jpg&size=24x16Seeed BotDriversClick to viewSupported
/thumb?filename=components/components/2a218b143711342426c968360c3f95cc.image.530x397.jpg&size=24x16Seeed ELDriversClick to viewSupported
/thumb?filename=components/components/Relayshield_01.jpg&size=24x16Seeed Relay V2ActuatorsClick to viewSupported
/thumb?filename=components/components/Energy_Shield.jpg&size=24x16Seeed EnergyPower supplyClick to viewSupported
/thumb?filename=components/components/Seeed_Solar_Shield.jpg&size=24x16Seeed Charger V2Power supplyClick to viewSupported
/thumb?filename=components/components/ae6c622dee3885e07e94e5716c732a46.image.530x397.jpg&size=24x16Seeed Grove V2Hook-upClick to viewSupported

And last but not least, if you'd like to expand this list and add support for more components on mbed then join the teams components and shields!

Building SalesForce IoT applications with ARM mbed at dreamforce 2014!

Next week we'll be in San Francisco at Dreamforce '14! We're hosting a workshop and teaching how to use mbed and the Force.com REST API. In the workshop attendees will use RFID tokens to create Cases in Salesforce. The RFID token is identifies a service technician on-site fixing an intelligent street light. Case data is recorded and sent when the technician presents his/her RFID token. The example scenario and associated project code serve as an introduction to mbed and mbed device programming. Additionally, the project shows how an mbed device can easily connect to the Salesforce.com cloud directly.

For those of you unable to attend here is the complete workshop code. For those wanting to create integration between their own mbed projects and Salesforce.com, please have a look at the mbed Salesforce Interface API.

Come join us at DreamForce 2014 for an awesome learning experience on the bleeding edge of IoT.