BLE – little energy, great benefit

BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) or Bluetooth Smart is the particularly energy-saving variant of the Bluetooth radio technology family. Especially in the field of Internet of Things, energy-saving transmission technology plays a major role. Many of the products and devices are powered by battery or rechargeable battery. The supply with a power supply unit can often already be excluded due to the application. Think, for example, of a smart gadget such as a heart rate monitor or even a gas meter that is placed directly in the duct. The fields of application are broad.

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BLE is a component of the Bluetooth 4.0 standard. Compared to its predecessors, it impresses not only with its energy efficiency, but also with its considerably more cost-effective integration. The range of Bluetooth Low Energy is limited to up to 10 meters.

Why BLE is popular for IoT applications?

Many devices, machines and sensors are already equipped with a Bluetooth interface. In recent decades, Bluetooth has become an established standard. With its energy-saving mode of operation, BLE is a suitable transmission technology for devices that run on rechargeable batteries or batteries. The widespread use of the standard and its performance speak for the use of Bluetooth Low Energy.

The Bluetooth range of up to 10 meters is sufficient to receive and combine data from multiple devices, sensors and machines. However, it is precisely this range that brings many applications to their limits. After all, this is not enough to transfer the data from the field or from your measuring point to the office.

This is where gateway concepts come into play. Gateway concepts for the respective application need are executed in the Bluetooth area with point-to-point (P2P), star (Star) or a connection of network nodes (Mesh). Whereby a P2P and Star topology are preferred if you want to ensure a calculable runtime in the network for battery-powered applications.

The data from sensors and tags is received via the Bluetooth interface and transmitted via 2G/3G/LTE-M1/NB1 transmitted to central databases or to web APIs  With a stand-alone BLE gateway, you can conveniently receive all data from Bluetooth sensors and devices within range directly in your office.

Special compression methods and optimized protocol technology result in a transmission rate of around 10 kByte / second via BLE.

Microtronics' technology as an enabler

The Microtronics ecosystem – consisting of hardware, software and service – helps you to quickly and easily implement your application yourself.

If you already have a ready-developed Bluetooth-capable product, BLE gateways offer a simple and quick way to collect Bluetooth data at the field level and transmit it to a web server.

Microtronics’ BLE gateways are programmable. The development environment Studio provides libraries specifically for BLE to best support you in developing your own integration of BLE products. You will be helped by the ble-scanner-app-mt and ble-con-manager-mt Libraries to easily integrate their BLE peripheral products into your application.

Library ble-con-manager-mt

The data is conveniently integrated into your digital service via REST APIs in JSON format.

For the integration of Bluetooth into your own gateway concepts, development kits such as the rapidM2M PoC BLE / WiFi Shield provide perfect initial operation for your own development. This way you integrate Bluetooth Low Energy directly into your application.

 

First published in November 2015, updated in February 2023

If you also want to take advantage of BLE contact Microtronics!

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