I’ve been messing around with Bluetooth Low Energy on a few projects lately. There’s some fun stuff out there, but like a lot of embedded stuff it can be a bit tricky in a non-Windows environment (I run Linux whenever I can.)
One module I’ve come across is the Laird Technologies BL-600 Series. The BL-600SA is a complete, FCC module certified, Bluetooth Low Energy systems-on-a-chip. It costs $13US in single quantity at Digikey.
Inside the metal can the BL-600SA is actually a Nordic nRF51822 Cortex M0 microcontroller with built in Bluetooth Low Energy, bundled with its supporting components and a chip antenna.