What is the advantage of BlinkUp over an RF transmission?

I am wondering why the BlinkUp process was created, clever as it is, instead of using say a Bluetooth signal. What is the advantage here in engineering, cost, and user friendly terms?

One big unknown for me is how an average customer might react to the BlinkUp process.

Why not use a similar one step process like the CC3000?


I suppose you could consider the cost of a bluetooth chip vs a phototransistor and a resistor, as well as size and complexity. I believe a bluetooth chip is several dollars even in bulk, vs very little cost for the blink-up circuit.

I have the Adafruit CC3000, but hadn’t seen that TI setup.

Bluetooth adds cost (maybe $2 for a bluetooth radio), complexity (software stack) and user confusion (on many phones users may need to configure bluetooth separately to get it to find the imp).

Blinkup is cheap (about $0.07 for a phototransistor) and uses the common feature of all smartphones - a bright screen.

The CC3000 setup doesn’t work in all circumstances (it’s not compatible with every network type), and though like blinkup it’s by default unencrypted, it’s also easily snooped as the password details are encoded into broadcast packets - to snoop blinkup you have to be close enough to sample the light signals. You can encrypt it the easy setup but only with a global pre-shared key as it’s unidirectional.