Bluetooth is an industry standard for data transmission over short distances between devices using radio technology. With the help of this standard, devices can be networked at a distance of about ten meters. Maximum ranges of 75 metres can be achieved.
- Suitable for interiors
- Suitable for outdoor use
- Independent of network coverage
- Low battery consumption
- Special infrastructure must be established
- BLE must be activated
Bluetooth low energy
Bluetooth today always means Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) in connection with location-based services. Compared to classic Bluetooth, BLE is characterized by significantly reduced energy consumption. The Android operating system supports BLE from version 4.3 (mid-2013). Apple’s operating system iOS supports BLE since iOS 5. BLE is the radio standard for communicating with Beacons. Positioning via Bluetooth Low Energy works by the smartphone interpreting the signal strength of the individual beacons. To do this, the smartphone must know where the individual beacons are in the room. This interpretation takes place within an app.
More information on positioning via beacon and BLE can be found here. In earlier versions of the Android and iOS operating systems, BLE had to be activated by the user. While Apple has reactivated BLE with every automatic update since 2014, Samsung has followed suit with the popular Galaxy S7 at the latest and has permanently activated the “Bluetooth Low Energy Search” option ex works. The default activation is an important detail. Because with deactivated BLE, beacons and smartphones cannot communicate with each other.
In addition, the user must always download a corresponding app that interprets the signals and triggers the desired actions on the smartphone or tablet or outputs a navigation. In such a case, this is also referred to as client-side positioning, since positioning takes place on the mobile device (client). In contrast to this, server-based positioning is used, for example, in UWB technology or asset tracking solutions in which the assets to be tracked are equipped with a transmitter.
Eddystone beacons are also dependent on activated BLE and an app with the Google Chrome Browser. However, this browser is usually already pre-installed on the device. This is often mistakenly assumed to mean that Eddystone beacons do not need an app.Eddystone beacons are also dependent on activated BLE and an app with the Google Chrome Browser. However, this browser is usually already pre-installed on the device. This is often mistakenly assumed to mean that Eddystone beacons do not need an app.