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What is BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy): The Beginner's Guide

Timely information sharing is a crucial necessity in our modern times. Fortunately, Bluetooth low energy technology makes such operation more straightforward and fun. You'll benefit from easy information sharing, tracking, traveling, and business operation. Again, BLE technology is cheap, making it a worthwhile investment. 

Here's the BLE beginners guide.

What is Bluetooth Low energy?

Bluetooth Low Energy

Most people ask the question; what is BLE? BLE is a wireless personal area network with classic higher-speed and low-energy Bluetooth protocols. However, BLE has no compatibility, and it's independent of classic Bluetooth. Thus it allows you to send data within spread intervals and save your battery life.

How does BLE technology work?

BLE uses the usual 2.4 GHz industrial channels and the medical band as a standard Bluetooth. However, the technology uses various channels than standard Bluetooth, such as Gaussian frequency shift modulation. Moreover, BLE technology uses a direct sequence spectrum to minimize BLE signal interference.

Difference between BLE and other technologies

BLE AND UWB
By comparing BLE vs UWB, you'll realize that they are similar in various ways. For instance, both offer low power consumption with varying accuracy levels. Again, UWB is considered to be more accurate than BLE. UWB has more range than BLE, but BLE has better connectivity as no line of sight is required.

BLE AND Bluetooth 
BLE and Bluetooth differences are divided into five categories, each with its unique distinction.

  • Power- Since BLE is always in 'sleep mode' until you initiate a connection, your battery lasts longer. Compared to previous Bluetooth applications, BLE uses less power. Again with a peak energy consumption of 15Ma, your BLE device can function longer with a small coin battery.
  • Range- BLE has less capacity than Bluetooth because it is optimized for longevity and low power usage.
  • Connection speed- Compared to standard Bluetooth devices, BLE has a higher connection speed.
  • The number of connections- Depending on the memory built on your BLE, your device can connect with a more significant number of devices.
  • Throughput- BLE is excellent at transmitting small numbers of infrequent data but using low amounts of power, thus more throughput. On the other hand, Bluetooth continuously transfers a large amount of data.

BLE AND WI-FI
Both BLE and WI-FI use RSSI to find your device locations or assets through the tracking system. However, compared to WI-FI, BLE has more options for software and hardware due to its higher accuracy and lower power usage.

But despite the benefit, you might consider WI-FI because you'll incur less cost when implementing your tracking system. WI-FI also allows communication over a broader range and more data transmission.

Discovery of BLE devices

3 separate frequencies are applied to discover your BLE device and reduce interference. The BLE device sends repetitive information packets over the 3 frequencies with 10miliseconds delays. Thus, the boxes of information will be discoverable by your desired BLE device.

After discovering, you'll need to scan BLE signals to be able to connect. Lastly, pair both BLE devices after discovering the signs.

BLE range
Your BLE range will depend on multiple factors, such as BLE beacons. For instance, Interferences such as physical obstructions make your BLE range shorter. However, under normal conditions, the BLE range could be 100 meters. But for best practice experience, 25 meters range is advised.

Bluetooth Low Energy

BLE Beacons
BLE beacons are the hardware of a BLE device that powers broadcast signal transmission. The beacon hardware enables your actions to be performed by technologies close to your BLE beacon. Thus, the beacons allow tracking of your BLE device and movement. Also, the beacons trigger location-based actions when your BLE enters a particular area.

How BLE technology uses Beacons

In BLE technology, BLE beacons work as broadcasting devices. Thus their work is to send information to your desired receiving device. However, to avoid undesired BLE interferences, you must install specific software.

For that reason, BLE beacons use universally unique identifiers (UUID) to ensure your transmission is not similar to other BLE beacons. Thus, you'll be able to link and share or receive information from your desired devices.

Benefits of BLE Technology

1. Asset Tracking
Your BLE technology will be crucial in tracking your equipment or goods within your indoor organization. Additionally, you could use BLE to track your assets at your company. Also, you can track your employee and machines with BLE, thus increasing productivity and avoiding injuries.

2. Security
BLE enhances your security by monitoring your facility, home entry, or access points. Thus, BLE sends you a signal or alarm if there is a security breach in your organization. Also, your BLE beacons enable environmental condition monitoring.

3. Manufacturing
Your BLE tracking technology enables you to monitor your raw materials or employees. Therefore, you can easily observe and make the necessary adjustments to your manufacturing process. Also, by monitoring your raw material, BLE will help you organize your logistics optimally.

Conclusion

You can use BLE for different applications such as tracking, security, and in various industries like the health sector. Also, BLE will use lower power and secure range, thus making your operations cost-effective. 

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