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Advantages, applications of Bluetooth Smart

Posted: 13 Dec 2013     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Bluetooth Smart  Bluetooth Low Energy  BLE  ultra-low power  Smart home 

Bluetooth Smart or Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) is a standard that enables low power devices and sensors to connect to smartphones and tablets. It uses short wavelength radio transmission at 2.4GHz band. With the use of this technology, it is possible to develop applications and accessories without the need for a specific profile.

Classical Bluetooth vs. Bluetooth Smart
Classical Bluetooth is a wireless technology standard for exchanging data or voice over short distance. It is widely used for data, audio and video transmission between smartphones, laptop, PC peripherals, earpiece etc. However, Bluetooth consumes high current making it unsuitable for battery powered applications expected to run for a long period without the need of battery replacement or charging.

Bluetooth low energy technology operates in the same spectrum as Classic Bluetooth technology, but uses a different set of channels (table 1). Instead of Bluetooth technology's 79 1MHz wide channels, Bluetooth low energy technology has 40 2MHz wide channels. This technology uses frequency hopping to counteract narrowband interference problems. BLE enables ultra-low power connectivity and basic data transfer for applications previously limited by the power consumption.

Table 1: Comparisons between Classical Bluetooth and BLE.

Flavours of BLE
Bluetooth Smart: Bluetooth Smart has ultra low power consumption being a pure low energy implementation. Bluetooth Smart devices can run from months to years on a standard coin cell battery. These are accessory devices which are used to send information to another Bluetooth smart device or Bluetooth smart ready enabled smartphones, tablets or laptops.

Bluetooth Smart Ready: Bluetooth Smart Ready is Classic Bluetooth + Bluetooth low energy on a single chip. These are hub devices which can receive data from both classical Bluetooth and Bluetooth Smart devices and convert them into useful information.

Table 2: Interoperability of Bluetooth devices.

Applications of Bluetooth Smart
Remote controller: Today infrared is the most popular media of wireless communication in Remote Controller. Infrared suffers from limitation of line of sight requirement and one way communication. BLE compatible remotes does not need to be in line of sight and can also be used be used to make gesture based remotes by integrating MEMS sensors. BLE compatible remote can even receive input from the main media such as turning on remote LED light or finding the lost remote in a room.

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