The LightBlue Cortado project board could let you build presence awareness in your home

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Y’all may recall that I want to build presence in my home so I can automate the heck out of it. When I move from room to room, I want to the lights in that room to turn on, or flash if I get a text message. It would also be cool if my music followed me without my intervention as well.

I’ve covered iBeacon as a way to maybe get that capability as well as a Kickstarter for an energy monitoring tool that is trying to use your electric use as a presence indicator. But Tuesday a new project launched that would basically let you build your own iBeacon sensors. The board, by Punch Through Designs, contains a Bluetooth Low Energy module, an accelerometer, an LED light and a microcontroller. You use the Arduino development environment to program it, which is a familiar environment for many makers.

The team behind the Cortado is seeking $20,000 on its own site, and the board sells for $18 on Tuesday and $18.90 starting Wednesday with the goal of shipping in May. The idea is basically to give developers the same flexibility that SparkCore or Electric Imp does for Wi-Fi with a Bluetooth LE module. It doesn’t have the back-end cloud support that those platforms have, but still could become a fun prototyping tool that could pave the way for new ideas and services in the internet of things — including presence.

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