At Neosensory, we dig Android™ OS and smartphones for their openness and power, which makes prototyping sensory expanding applications on Android a joy. While smartphones are a technology to which we’ve all grown accustomed, it’s worth taking a step back to appreciate just how powerful these devices have become and what they can do for us.
The power of Android applications
If I told highschool-me back in ‘99 that one day we’d carry around a little rectangular device that could give you immediate access to every song created, tell you exactly where on the Earth you are, and give step-by-step directions anywhere, I wouldn’t have believed me. The information and sensing power that smartphones enable cannot be overstated, and Google has done an amazing job at putting this all at the developer’s fingertips.
And now, aspiring perception hackers can build apps using the Neosensory Software Development Kit (SDK) for Android. Create a new sensory expanding application by sending your own custom data streams to Buzz (our wristband that converts sound from the environment to patterns of vibration on the wrist) from an Android smartphone.
Want some inspiration? Check out our CEO David Eagleman’s TED Talk.
Build with Buzz and Android
This Java-based SDK streamlines the process of developing your own projects on a Neosensory Buzz by sending data to the wristband from a compatible Android device via Bluetooth. The SDK is built on top of Martijn van Welie’s BLESSED Bluetooth library for Android.
Currently, the SDK supports Android smartphones running operating systems 8.0 and above. Because Android-based smartphone manufacturers use their own distinct Bluetooth stacks, we cannot guarantee this SDK will work for every Android phone. At Neosensory, we work with Google’s Pixel-line of phones. If you try out the SDK on your phone, please drop us a line at email@example.com or visit the Neosensory developer Slack to let us know how it’s going and any questions we can answer for you.
Visit the GitHub repository and SDK documentation to get going. There are two quick ways to start. First, the repository itself is an Android studio project, which contains an example Android app that uses the library. Alternatively, you can use JitPack to add the SDK library directly into your own Android studio project without needing to manually copy the library from the repository. Read our Neosensory SDK for Android example project for a detailed walkthrough of the example project included in the repository.
Stay tuned as we roll out sensory expanding projects from which you can learn and get inspiration. We’ve worked on projects that let you feel the location of satellites (including the International Space Station as shown below), the sentiment of Twitter streams, and stock market data on your wrist. Stay tuned for future posts about our example projects.
We also want to see what you create. Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Neosensory developer Slack and share your projects as you build them. We’ll feature select projects on our site.
By Scott Novich, Co-founder & CTO
Android is a trademark of Google LLC