Friday, January 11, 2019


2 Instances of the blessTags app. – a practical application


    Starting with the blessTags version 12.2.6.0 a new configuration option was introduced. This option (the first option from the figure presented below) allows executing one instance or many instances (the number of instances it is not limited) of the blessTags application. The blessTags Lite application allows only one instance of the application to run at one-time moment. 




    In this mode, an instance of the blessTags application can manage one type of SensorTag (e.g. CC2650STK) and another instance of the blessTags application can manage another SensorTags (e.g. ThunderBoard Sense).  Using this approach, you can supervise several parameters from a plant, simultaneously in two different places, and generate warnings or sends emails when a specific state is recognized.

Media Player Classic control


    Another practical application is presented in the following.  In the Gadgets tools set, using the Remote Control application several different Windows programs (3 different types of media players, PowerPoint or Adobe) can be controlled using the buttons from a SensorTag. Other specific remote control commands can be easily defined by a user.
    In the following movie, it is presented a practical application to control the Media Player Classic using two different SensorTags. The first SensorTag is used to play/pause a movie or to get to the next video. To do this a specific predefined list sets of commands is used. The second SensorTag is used to control the volume of the Media Player Classic – one button for volume up and the second button for volume down. The association between the buttons and the Media Player Classic’s volume commands is done using the user-defined list of remote commands.

    Please watch the movie, do it all the steps presented and enjoy a custom application of two instances of the blessTags app.


Please visit blessTags online: 



Monday, December 31, 2018

blessTags configuration panel

        Starting with the blessTags version 12.2.6.0 a new panel, used to configure the blessTags application, was introduced – see the below figure. This configuration panel is active only in the full version of the blessTags application.


This panel brings the following new features:
  1. Unlimited number of instances for the blessTags application
        The first option allows to run an instance or many instances (the number of instances it is not limited) of the blessTags application. In this mode, an instance of the blessTags application can manage one type of SensorTag (e.g. CC2650STK) and another instance of the blessTags application can manage another SensorTags (e.g. ThunderBoard Sense).  The blessTags Lite application allows only one instance of the application to run at one time moment.
  1. The system tray icon
        Right now, the application has the possibility to be represented by a button on the taskbar or by a small icon on the system tray.



       Left clicking on this icon will minimize – maximize the blessTags application. By right clicking on this icon three different controls are accessible to the user in order to: close the blessTags application, configure the active SensorTag (the last SensorTag selected by the user) and disconnect the SensorTag (all the sensors embedded on the SensorTag will be configured in sleep mode and the Bluetooth LE communication will be terminated).
       A short demonstration movie with these two configuration options is presented below.

  1. Set the priority for the application
       This option is implemented from the blessTags version 12.0.0.0, only in the full version of the application. From the configuration menu, a priority level for the application can be selected. Five different priorities are allowed (from fastest to slowest):   Realtime - highest priority, High, Above normal, Normal (the program priority by default) and Below normal.


       In Windows, each thread is scheduled to run based on its scheduling priority. By default, in the Windows operating system (OS), all the threads have the same priority – Normal priority. The schedule of the OS assigns time slices to all the threads, in a round-robin fashion, starting with the threads with the highest priority. If none of these threads are ready to run, the system assigns time slices in the same mode (round-robin fashion) to all threads with the next highest priority. Every time when a higher-priority thread becomes available to run, the system ceases to execute the lower-priority thread and assigns a full-time slice to the higher-priority thread.
       This option can be used mainly to improve the speed of the data acquisition, especially when we use a faster SensorTags like Nordic Thingy:52 (with a movement data acquisition up to 200 Hz) or a modified software version for the CC2650STK.
  1. Removing the software restrictions
       In order to work correctly, the blessTags application imposes several restrictions. For example, the identification of different types of SensorTags can be done using the mandatory BLE service Generic Access, based on the 0x2A00 characteristic. This embedded characteristic, the Device Name (0x2A00 characteristic), have a special string that defines in a unique way different SensorTags. Using this last option, the user can use custom names from each SensorTags.
      Additionally, other restrictions are also eliminated. For example, in order to be able to use a modified software version of the CC2650STK SensorTag (that acquires the acceleration at a higher speed – less than 150 [ms] for each sample), this option must be selected.



Please visit blessTags online:

BlessTags Lite (the free version): http://www.microsoft.com/store/apps/9mt2kgztfjf5
 

Friday, December 7, 2018

blessTags 12.0.0.0 release


      In a few days, prepare you for a new release for the blessTags application - the version 12.0.0.0. The new release will bring support to the Nordic Semiconductor Thingy:52 SensorTag.


      It is a wonderful news, but it also means that only a few days remain left to check the following functionalities (that are activated in the Lite version – the free version of the blessTags): events, warnings, activities, developer mode, application configuration and the save function.

Please visit blessTags online:

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

blessTags application Privacy Policy


Network Usage:

       The blessTags application uses the internet to send an email when an event will take place – the desired sensor value (instantaneous, mean or the variance) is lower or higher than a threshold value or is inside or outside of a specific range of values. But, this email will be sent only to the people indicated by the user of the blessTags application! No one else will know, use or store the email address or the email body message.

Data Collected:

      The blessTags program does not collect any kind of personal data from users.  It does not ask for your name or email address and does not knowingly send them back to the developer. No your IP address (or your gateway’s IP address) will be collected or transmitted to the developer.
      blessTags shares this information with the following parties:
  • No data will be shared using this application and the application doesn't have abilities to collect personal user information.

More info about:

     You are always welcome to write to me about the application. If you would like to have further information, use the following email:
  • mdobrea at gmail.com
     This policy is subject to change without notice. Please check this page for the latest privacy policy. If you disagree with this policy, please discontinue use of the application.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

How many hours do you spend on the development of the blessTags application?

       This is a very hard question. I have never been counting how much time I spent in developing the blessTags application. With the release of each new version, the number of code lines that the new version of the application has it is counted and presented to the users - please see the blessTags version history section. This indicator, the number of code lines of the blessTags application, it is a very good reference for the efforts made in developing the application. But that's not all. Testing the newly developed features, testing their integration with the rest of the application also takes a lot of time.
       In order to highlight these efforts (made in the testing phase of the application), but also those deployed in the development of the blessTags application, I think an image is much more exciting. 
       In the below figure, I present all the coins batteries (CR2032) depleted in the last 6-8 months in the development phase and testing phase of the blessTags application with different types of the SensorTags.