Zero wires. Infinite uses.

  • 2263 backers
  • $145,134 of $20,000
Learn More Pre-Order Now!

Bean connects your physical things to the digital world.

Wireless

Arduino Compatible

Cross Platform

Built-In Functionality

Create with Bean, Peripherals Optional.

An RGB LED and 3-axis accelerometer enable thousands of applications without requiring any modifications. Create a motion alarm to warn you if someone moves your bike. Get wireless notifications for text messages, emails, and Facebook posts. Build an iPhone-controlled Nerf gun turret. The possibilities are endless.

Want to build even more projects? Pre-order four Beans and get a free maker kit filled with sensors, buttons, resistors, capacitors, headers and jumper wires!

Prototyping, Mobilized!

Your code goes where you go.

The Bean is programmed wirelessly with Arduino code from all of your favorite platforms: iOS, Android, Mac, Windows. This means you can make, build, and invent from any device, in any place.

Since there are no wires needed to program it, you can build the Bean right into your next project. Easily tweak a line of code even after finishing your enclosure. Grab a coffee and write some quick code without even taking the Bean out of your backpack.

Easy App-cessories

Easily use our app LightBlue to interact with your Bean instantly. Scan for all nearby devices and connect without ever having to navigate complicated settings. Or go a step further and write an App on your favorite platform. Making a smart phone accessory has never been this easy.

LightBlue can connect to any Bluetooth LE peripherals, but when connected to Bean it offers a simple UI customized to the Bean's functions. Or if you prefer to view the actual characteristics, you can return to the classic view. Interacting with hardware is now as close as your favorite smart phone or tablet.

Tech Specs

Bean

  • 3-Axis Accelerometer
  • RGB LED
  • 4 PWM pins, 2 Analog inputs, 8 GPIO
  • I2C and SPI Hardware Peripherals
  • Coin cell battery
  • Battery life exceeding one year for low power applications
  • Daisy chain for extended range >100ft (30.5m)
  • Protoboard section
  • Adhesive backing

Microcontroller

  • ATmega328P
  • AVR processor, 8 MHz
  • 32KB Flash, 1KB EEPROM, 2KB SRAM
  • 3V digital I/O

LBM313 Module

  • Texas Instruments CC2540
  • Optimal range up to 100ft (30.5m)
  • 256KB Flash
  • Sleep Mode 0.9μA (PM2)

FAQ

Shipping

When all is said and done, we expect you to have your hands on your Bean by May 2014. This depends heavily on the quantities sold—we'll update this date at the end of our campaign. If you'd like to know more about our manufacturing and fulfillment process, keep reading!


We want to be as transparent as possible without giving false expectations. We've previously used a contract manufacturer in Korea to produce several products. They've already built thousands of our module for our other customers. We have visited them, personally vetted their services, and trust them to do an excellent job. We'll be using this manufacturer to produce your Bean.

Our current lead times are 12 to 14 weeks on production due to the procurement of parts. We will kick off the ordering of parts with long lead times immediately after our campaign completes. We will spend 30 days after the holidays preparing for manufacturing and vetting our current hardware design. After that, we will begin production.

We are allotting 4 weeks to testing of the production units, 2 weeks to clearing customs and shipping to USA, and then another week of fulfillment in the US.

At this time, we don't accept PayPal as a payment method. PayPal can be hostile to businesses that accept pre-orders, and many companies have had their PayPal accounts frozen indefinitely for accepting pre-orders. We currently use Stripe http://stripe.com as our payment processor of choice. They're happy to process payments for our pre-orders, and we've had an excellent experience working with them so far.

For more information about Stripe, check out their FAQ at https://stripe.com/us/help/faq

Software

Programming the Bean depends largely on the size of your Arduino code. Transmitting most standard Arduino scripts take approximately 5 to 10 seconds.

You'll use our platform-specific application to program your unit wirelessly. Mac and Windows will feature loaders that integrate with your existing Arduino IDE. Custom Apps will be released on iOS and Android. The Bean is programmed over Bluetooth Low Energy so you never have to plug it in!

iOS devices:

  • iPhone 4S and above
  • iPad 3 and above
  • iPad Mini and above
  • iPod Touch 5G and above

Android devices:

  • Samsung Galaxy S4
  • Nexus 7
  • Nexus 5
  • Any other phone with full support for the Android 4.3 Bluetooth Low Energy API

OS X devices:

  • MacBook Air: Mid-2011 and above (with Intel Core i5/i7 processors)
  • MacBook Pro: Mid-2012 and above (with Intel Core i5/i7 processors, both Retina and non-Retina models)
  • Mac Pro (the new model, arriving in December 2013)
  • Mac Mini: Mid-2011 and above (with Intel Core i5/i7 processors)

Windows devices:

  • Devices running Windows 8.1 with full support for the new Bluetooth Low Energy API

On mobile devices, your device must come with support for Bluetooth Low Energy. There is no way to add BLE support to a mobile device without BLE.

If your Mac or Windows computer doesn't support BLE, you will have to add a USB BLE dongle that works with the OS specific API. We'll be working hard in the next few months to find a solution that provides BLE for all the platforms we want to support.

Your Bean will ship when iOS and Mac support is ready. Windows and Android devices will be supported in a subsequent update.

We will open source the protocol for programming boards, so you will be able to make your own loader applications should you desire. We will provide application examples that show both programming and interacting with the Bean along with full source code. Our app LightBlue is built for a wider variety of BLE interaction, so that part of it will remain closed source. But everything you would need to build a loader or control app will be open source.

Hardware

We will include buttons, sensors, resistors, capacitors, and connection headers. We are planning on building some example projects during the campaign, and we'll pick which sensors will be best for the kit based on which projects are the most successful.

The dimensions are (LxWxH) 4.5cm x 2cm x .75cm (the height includes the battery enclosure).

Realistically, the connection range of the Bean is 120 feet with a clear line of sight. On average you should expect 80 to 100 feet. This range may differ based on the device used to talk to the Bean, local obstacles, and interfering devices in the area. Try not to microwave your Bean.

It does ship with a battery already installed, and it comes to you powered on! Bluetooth Low Energy devices use very little power. When shipped, the Bean is broadcasting very infrequently, so it could sit on the shelf for over a year before the battery dies. This is part of what makes Bluetooth Low Energy so exciting!

Give it a shot and let us know! You might want to buy an extra Bean.

Punch Through Design uses our very own LBM313 module in the Bean! The LBM313 is an FCC-certified Bluetooth Low Energy module that can be used to accelerate any product's time to market. It is priced aggressively so that you can build it into your final product. By using the LBM313, you save time and money that you would otherwise spend dealing with RF design and certification.

Hacking

Good question! Our goal is to make it very easy to program while still allowing you to use it securely if you so desire. You will be able to set a PIN code to pair with the Bean securely, allowing you to prevent others from changing its settings. The PIN can be reset if you have physical access to the device. That means if you want to build the Bean into a permanent installation, you may want to prevent access to its circuit board!

The Bean implements both modes of the BLE specification: it can be either a peripheral or a central device. We'll include Arduino functionality for both modes, so you'll be able to build whatever crazy topologies you can think up. It's up to you!

Using Apple's new ANCS (Apple Notification Center Service), the Bean can receive notifications from your iPhone.

Yes, it does! We will release firmware images that implement both Apple's notification center service and iBeacon functionality.

We will ship the Beans with a profile built especially for the common features of the Bean. This will let you program it, read the accelerometer, set the RGB LED, and run your Arduino code like you'd expect on the Atmel chip. We will also release separate firmware images to load onto the module via our Apps that implement both iBeacons and Apple's notification center service.

Our module does have support for implementing custom profiles. We consider this a power-user feature and will release it with sample profiles to show how you can implement different base functionality with the module.

About Us

We are a total of seven incredibly awesome-nerdy-wacky engineers. We have an office in San Francisco (North Beach!) and Minneapolis (Northeast!). Five of our engineers work in San Francisco and two work in Minneapolis.

(Psst! Want to work at an awesome company? Love making software talk to hardware? Email us at [email protected]!)

We have been building smartphone accessories for 4 years now. We have a very good sense of what's happening in this area and tons of expertise in developing Bluetooth and other wireless mobile products. We've pooled our experience to build the best products possible.

And if you couldn't tell, we have a little bit of fun while doing it! ;)

Got a question we haven't answered? Drop us a line!