Bluetooth Low Energy


 

LogoBluetoothSmart

The First time I heard of BLE I thought they were referring to a type of Sandwich found at Subways.Later did i realise that BLE stood for Bluetooth Low Energy a technology also referred to as Bluetooth Smart.

You see BLE aka Bluetooth Low Energy is intended to provide considerably reduced power consumption and cost while maintaining a similar communication range of 100 metres or 330 ft or 0.10 Km.BLE logo was introduced in 2011.

In actuality BLE actually has a completely different lineage and was started by Nokia as an in-house project called ‘Wibree‘ before being adopted by the Bluetooth SIG.

In 2001, researchers at Nokia determined various scenarios contemporary wireless technologies did not address.The company began developing a wireless technology adapted from the Bluetooth standard which would provide lower power usage and cost while minimizing its differences from Bluetooth technology. The results were published in 2004 using the name Bluetooth Low End Extension.

After further development with partners in particular Logitech and within EU FP6 project MIMOSA,actively promoted and supported also by STMicroelectronics since its early stage,technology was released to the public in October 2006 with the brand name Wibree. After negotiations with Bluetooth SIG members, an agreement was reached in June 2007 to include Wibree in future Bluetooth specification as a Bluetooth ultra-low-power technology, known as Bluetooth Low Energy technology.

 

 

BLE Platform Support

Support for Bluetooth 4.0 and Bluetooth Low Energy (which is a subset of BT 4.0) is available on most major platforms as of the versions listed below:

  • iOS5+ (iOS7+ preferred)
  • Android 4.3+ (numerous bug fixes in 4.4+)
  • Apple OS X 10.6+
  • Windows 8 (XP, Vista and 7 only support Bluetooth 2.1)
  • GNU/Linux Vanilla BlueZ 4.93+

 

BLE is used for applications that do not need to exchange large amounts of data, and can therefore run on battery power for years at a cheaper cost. BLE operates in the 2.4 GHz ISM band. Unlike classic Bluetooth, however, BLE remains in sleep mode constantly except for when a connection is initiated. The actual connection times are only a few mS, unlike Bluetooth which would take ~100mS. The reason the connections are so short, is that the data rates are so high at 1 Mb/s.

 

References:

 

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