Interested in learning how Bluetooth Low Energy works down to the packet level? Debugging your own BLE hardware, and trying to spot where something is going wrong? Or maybe you're writing a custom application for your phone or tablet that needs to talk to existing BLE hardware, but you don't know how it works beneath the surface? Adafruit has the perfect tool for you!
This Bluefruit LE Friend is programmed with a special firmware image that turns it into an easy to use Bluetooth Low Energy sniffer. You can passively capture data exchanges between two BLE devices, pushing the data into Wireshark, the open source network analysis tool, where you can visualize things on a packet level, with useful descriptors to help you make sense of the values without having to crack open the 2000 page Bluetooth 4.0 Core Specification every time.
Plug it into your development machine, fire up the special sniffer bridge SW, select the device you want to sniff, and it will fire up Wireshark for you and start pushing data in via a live stream (using Nordic's Windows software), or save to a pcap file that you can analyze with Wireshark later.
Please Note: You can only use this device to listen on Bluetooth Low Energy devices! It will not work on Bluetooth (classic) devices. The Nordic Wireshark-streaming sniffer software is currently Windows only. They have example code using the python API that will work on any OS to log the sniffed data to a pcap file for analysis so you can use this sniffer with any OS with python.
The sniffer firmware cannot be used with the the Nordic DFU bootloader firmware, which means that if you want to reprogram this devices you must use a J-Link + SWD adapter! You cannot over-the-air reprogram it.