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[University of California at Berkeley]


- Overview

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 has long been the industry standard for streaming audio applications and audio devices.

At the CES conference in January 2020, Bluetooth introduced the latest version of Bluetooth technology -- version 5.2. Version 5.2 offers new benefits for the next generation of wireless devices and audio technologies. It also ushers in the next generation of Bluetooth audio — LE Audio. 

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.


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

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! 

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). 

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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