I am doing some research into a potential electronics project I would like to try out. What it involves is having a collection of small remote devices that communicate with a larger central device. The amount of communication would be minimal, and low volume and power usage is important. From my reading i think that using Bluetooth (the low energy usage version) might be a sensible choice.
I think the best choice would be some type of integrated system which has the BT chip as well as the micro-controller in one package. I have seen several of these systems online, though I admit I am unsure about what equipment I would need to start developing. Many of these systems seem to have "Dev Kits" however they are often quite expensive (compared to the unit cost of the chip itself) and what I am looking for is the bare minimum (ie. 2-3 chips, connection equipment, and compiler if needed).
A few that look promising are: CC2540 Mini Development Kit Nordic Semiconductor nRF8001 Development Kit
I have some limited experience using micro-controllers as I took a short course programming an Atmega128 in assembler. I would gladly hear any opinions or possibly alternatives.