BS in Computer Engineering
Computer Engineering Department
Our group’s senior project is called BlueBeats. The BlueBeats product was created in order to provide a wireless audio gateway between Bluetooth enabled devices. Users of BlueBeats can use an Android or computer application to interface with the BlueBeats device. The Android and computer applications allow the user to easily scan for devices, add/remove devices from their personal list, and pair/connect with a selected Bluetooth enabled device. Once the user is connected to the BlueBeats device, he/she has two options. The first option occurs when the user connects the BlueBeats device to a device with speakers (using 3.5mm audio jack or RCA cable) which will allow the user to wirelessly transmit audio to the BlueBeats device so it can be played through the device’s speakers. The second option occurs when the user connects a TV to the BlueBeats device (using 3.5mm audio jack or RCA cable) and chooses to wirelessly (using Bluetooth) connect the BlueBeats device to a headphones Bluetooth device. This allows the user to wirelessly transmit the audio from the TV to the user’s Bluetooth enabled headphones. As a result, BlueBeats gives users more flexibility with audio applications by allowing users to wirelessly transmit audio from their phone to a device with speakers or from a device with speakers to a pair of Bluetooth enabled headphones.
The software for both the Android and computer applications were written in Java. The Android application uses the public Bluetooth APIs in order to make the connection between the phones and BlueBeats. The computer application uses the Bluecove Bluetooth APIs in order to make the connection between the computer and BlueBeats. Both applications contain the same options for the user and follow the same layout in order to increase the usability of both applications for the user. Additionally, both applications hide a lot of the complex Bluetooth functionality from users so that they just have to select devices they want to add to their personal list and then select a device from their list that they want to connect to.
The hardware consists of a WT-32 BlueGiga chip that is used to communicate with the microcontroller board in order to play and receive audio. The design for the microcontroller board was created using the Eagle software. The microcontroller board and the WT-32 chip is placed inside an enclosure that keeps all of the hardware out of sight and keeps all of the delicate parts of the circuit board properly contained. The enclosure for the hardware is 2.6 inches by 2.5 inches and it has holes for the buttons, LED lights, and the audio jack. There are 3 LED lights that include one for power, one for bluetooth connection, and one if the battery needs charging. The four buttons consists of play/pause, next song, volume up, and volume down.
Our team decided to further develop our project into a company after graduating. Since the team consists of only technical students, we had to learn the business side of our project on our own. We were able to see a glimpse of the business aspect through the resources that Cal Poly provides. The resources that were the most useful were the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) and the Student Startup Assistance Team (SSAT). We were given useful information about the basic process of starting a company, and how to setup a vision that the company could follow. We were also able to draft a provisional patent application from the resources that we received through the CIE.
The original estimated cost for the BlueBeats was based on two main items for development, the Arduino Uno ($30) and Bluetooth chip WT-32 ($60), which is turns out to be around $90. The final cost for our senior project was $732.74 with the hardware development cost being $252.44. The most expensive part of our senior project was creating five BlueBeats devices using the 3D prototype printer and our own circuit board. At the end of our project, each BlueBeats device cost was cut down to a cost of $96.06.