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Bluetooth 5.0 and Beyond Wireless Technology

(EM Spectrum - IOTA)



- Overview

Bluetooth is a short range wireless networking protocal (like WI-FI) designed to quickly and automatically connect devices without wires. It can be used to connect: 

  • Mobile phones to each other to exchange pictures, ringtones, music, etc.
  • Computer to devices like mice, keyboards, printers, etc.
  • Headsets to mobile phones for hands free operation (Bluetooth car kits)

Bluetooth devices automatically detect and connect to each other making communication between devices very easy.


- The Working Groups of the Bluetooth Wireless Technology

The Working Groups ( are the backbone of the Bluetooth SIG. Bluetooth® technology is the global wireless standard enabling the Internet of Things (IoT). But how did that happen? It happened because of the hard work and commitment of the working group and committee members. This group of dedicated individuals works to develop new Bluetooth specifications and enhance adopted ones -- specifications that make Bluetooth the fastest growing wireless technology on the planet.


- Bluetooth Wireless Technology

One of the most broadly used wireless technologies of short-range is Bluetooth. Bluetooth is everywhere: in speakers, wireless headphones, cars, wearables, medical devices, and even shoes! 

Bluetooth is a wireless technology standard used for exchanging data between fixed and mobile devices over short distances using short-wavelength UHF radio waves in the industrial, scientific and medical radio bands, from 2.402 GHz to 2.480 GHz, and building personal area networks (PANs). Bluetooth is the short-range wireless interconnection of mobile phones, computers, and other electronic devices. Bluetooth is managed by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG). 

Bluetooth 5.0 is the latest update in wireless communication. Bluetooth 5.0 now supports mesh connections by means of using Beacon to create market opportunities such as Smart Building, Smart Industry, Smart Homes and Smart Cities. Even though mesh topology is not new to Bluetooth 5.0, the update now enables large-scale device networks and Bluetooth Beacon communications. 

There are two kinds of Bluetooth devices: one is referred to as Bluetooth Classic (used in wireless speakers, car infotainment systems, and headsets), the other is Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). These two kinds of Bluetooth devices are incompatible with each other (even though they share the same brand and even specification document). 


- Bluetooth Classic Devices and Blue Low Energy (BLE) Device

Bluetooth Classic is ideal for connecting mobile phones to Bluetooth headsets for phone calls

Bluetooth Low Energy is an ultra-low power version of Bluetooth meant for low power sensors and accessories. It is ideal for applications that do not require continuous connection but depend on long battery life. It is not suitable for streaming audio.

A Bluetooth Classic device cannot communicate (directly) with a Bluetooth Low Energy device. This is why some devices such as smartphones choose to implement both types (sometimes called a Dual Mode Bluetooth device), that way they can communicate with both types of devices. 


- Bluetooth and IoT

Since many IoT systems involve small devices and sensors, BLE has become the more common protocol of the two (versus Bluetooth Classic) in IoT. BLE is more prominent in applications where power consumption is crucial (such as battery powered devices) and where small amounts of data are transferred infrequently (such as in sensor applications).  

BLE is not designed for transferring large files and will go perfectly with the small portions of data. This is the reason for Bluetooth leading the internet of things protocols of this century. The newly invented Bluetooth Core Specification 4.2 adds up one innovative Internet Protocol Support Profile. It permits Bluetooth Smart Sensor to get access on the Internet straight via 6LoAPAN.


- Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)

Bluetooth Low Energy is a form of wireless communication designed especially for short-range communication. BLE is very similar to Wi-Fi in the sense that it allows devices to communicate with each other. However, BLE is meant for situations where battery life is preferred over high data transfer speeds. 

For example, say you want to broadcast marketing campaigns in the close proximity of a newly launched headphone. The amount of data you need to transfer to a visitor’s smartphone is extremely small, hence Bluetooth LE compatible beacons do the job quickly without draining the battery.  Most smartphones and tablets today are BLE compatible, which means they can seamlessly communicate with Bluetooth enabled wireless headphones, digital signage, car stereos, fitness trackers, smartwatches and hardware devices like beacons.


[More to come ...]







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