As the Internet of Things continues to advance, transmission technologies also need to develop. One of the most commonly known data transmission technologies is Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). It is primarily designed to make IoT applications work.
Before understanding how this transmission technology works, it is essential to know what it is.
What is Bluetooth Low Energy?
This form of Bluetooth consumes significantly less energy than classic Bluetooth, about 10% less. The reason for this discrepancy is the latter was solely created for data transmission, for instance, when you connect your smartphone to the car stereo system to play some music.
Although BLE was also designed for data transmission, it was developed with a strong bias toward maximizing battery capacity. The purpose is to ensure that parties can transmit information over a long time. This particular protocol gained momentum in 2010, thanks to the emergence of the BLE 4.0 version.
Since then, it’s been widely used because it allowed for easy short and medium-range wireless connections. Because of its properties, a BLE device typically functions in sleep mode and is only activated to create links that only last milliseconds. That makes it ideal for applications that transmit sporadically.
How BLE technology works
Bluetooth low energy technology works similarly to the standard Bluetooth technology’s 2.4 GHz scientific, industrial and medical band. It also uses channels that are different from standard Bluetooth. It utilizes 40 2-MHz channels to transmit information using a method known as Gaussian frequency shift modulation. It is done between different data pulses reducing the level of interference in the frequency hopping procedure than the standard Bluetooth communications.
BLE makes the best of the direct sequence spread spectrum to minimize interference emanating from BLE signal transmissions. In contrast, standard Bluetooth technology utilizes FHSS (frequency-hopping spread spectrum) to convey radio signals. Overall, this results in significantly higher levels of interference compared to BLE. It is important to remember that BLE is also different from UWB. To determine the distinction between these two types of Bluetooth, consider looking up BLE vs. UWB for a more in-depth comparison.
Applications of BLE technology
1. BLE in medicine
Bluetooth low energy technology can be applied in different areas of medicine and pharmacy. For example, pressure or blood glucose monitors could report a patient’s status over BLE. It can also apply to automated emergency calls. This technology would be instrumental in dire situations where someone needs urgent care to save their life.
By just dialing 9-1-1 or 9-9-9x, IoT tech will do the rest to your advantage, for instance, pinpointing your location, pinging on Bluetooth beacon signals near patients, and finding addresses, room numbers, and floor numbers. It can also transmit all the above information to the first responders.
2. BLE in pet tracking
Pet owners can use BLE to track their pets’ locations and behavior consistently. Specific applications even use this technology to track your dog’s fitness and activity.
3. BLE in retail
BLE allows retailers and consumers to quickly and easily communicate with each other. The beacons can track people’s paths inside a shopping complex, provide a personalized experience and gather customer information. Retailers can also push media like coupons, ads, and extra product information through the beacons.
Tech giants such as Google have known this for some years and are now making the most of it.
4. BLE in communication
Bluetooth low technology helps users to take calls via flip action and can also serve as wireless speakers when it is linked to different music streaming devices. Depending on the mobile platform, the technology can work for both BLE Android and BLE iOS.
5. BLE for sports
The BLE technology is also used in sports, for example, where cyclists use augmented reality glasses with tiny heads-up displays and smart wearables to view critical data when they are training. This helps training athletes boost their performance and improve their results theoretically.
6. BLE for location tracking
You can use BLE applications while at the airport to trace personalized directions within this airport. It can also show you directions to different parts of the waiting bay, such as the services, baggage carousels, and restaurants. Tech companies have also used Bluetooth low energy technology at museums to allow art lovers to guide themselves around the gallery exhibits and gather whatever extra information they need through their phones.
7. BLE in agriculture
Beacons can easily be used to collect and analyze information like sub-tidal water temperature, chlorophyll values, environmental data, etc. Combined with satellite imaging data and proper analysis, this could make sustainable and efficient food production more accessible and easier to realize.
These are just a few endless possibilities made more achievable by Bluetooth low energy technology. Thanks to the Bluetooth low energy technology, transmissions can be faster and more efficient.