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[Little Brosers] The User’s Side of The Story

Hello everyone,

This is my first personal post in the logbook, since we finally started working on separate issues in the project. So let me tell you a little bit about what I’ve been working on in the last few days:

Little Brosers App

I have been working on the user’s side of the Little Brosers project, the mobile app. Since I have previous experience in developing Android apps, it was a logical choice for me to explore this aspect of the project and lay the foundations of our future work. I started by looking at the Bluetooth Low Energy capabilities and APIs for android that will allow us to detect and interact with the drops from the smartphone. After looking at the official API and other third-party libraries, I came upon a library developed by Nordic Semiconductor, as well as a PDF document, also written by them, about BLE on Android. Nordic’s library being reliable and simple to use was the final winner.

Using this library I was able to write a very simple android app that was capable of detecting and logging the address of any BLE beacon in range in the foreground (I used an app to turn my iPad into a BLE beacon).

I believe that this is an important first step. Having found a reliable library, the next steps would be the following:

-Implement UUID filters in the scan to detect only the Little Brosers drops.
-Clean the app code to separate as much as possible UI elements from functionality ones.
-Move the detection to the background using Android services.

Note that the last point is tougher than it looks. There are many decisions still to be made regarding the behavior of the app that will affect how we handle this part.

Aside from the mobile app, I will also be working on refining the message structure and the Merkle tree with my teammates, so that we can start developing the core of our project.

 

Until next week,

Chris

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