The Bluetooth Low Energy Protocol (also known as BLE or Bluetooth Smart), was first introduced by Bluetooth SIG along with the Bluetooth 4.0 version (2010).
The BLE protocol allows a wireless data transfer with “low energy” devices (Beacons); once in function, they keep listening to the channel until a device requests a connection with them.
BLE Beacons broadcast data packets via wireless (through the 2,4GHz band) spaced out by configurable time frames (Broadcast Interval). This emitted data string is called Advertising Packet. The connection to the Beacon occurs through the Master/Slave principle. (the same principle used by Bluetooth Classic). The Master has the job to handle the communication (start, synchronization, end), while the Slave only performs the Master orders. The Master can open multiple connections with Slaves at a time, but a Slave can be connected with only one Master at a time.
An example of Master/Slave architecture is the communication between Smartphone and Beacon: The smartphone (Master, with a Bluetooth 4.0 chip or higher) keeps listening to the channel where the Beacons (Slave) send their own Advertising. Once it receives an Advertising, the Smartphone can perform a connection with one or more Beacons at a time (maximum 8).
An example of data sending between Master and Slave during Connection Mode
By remaining dormant most of the time, Beacons have an extremely reduced battery consumption compared to a Bluetooth Classic device (also due to the small amount of data sent during the connection and the dormant period). This allows these devices to be powered by small energy sources (such as a coin-cell), and to have a long life expectancy (from months to several years).
BLUETOOTH LOW ENERGY VERSIONS (BLE)
It is the first protocol that introduced the low energy version (2010).
Faster than the previous version.
Fixes the interference problem with 4G/LTE.
Backward compatible with previous versions.
Allows chips to use Bluetooth over the l’Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPV6), for a direct Internet access.
Devices that implement the BR/EDR Core Configuration will be backward compatible with all the previous Bluetooth Core Versions that implement the same technology (starting from 1.1).
Compared to previous versions, Bluetooth 4.2 allows a faster throughput (250% more than 4.0 e 4.1 versions).
The packets capacity has been incremented 10 times more than previous versions.
With more efficent and secure features, Bluetooth 4.2 allows only trusted users to track devices and communicate with them.
Backward compatible with previous versions.
Doubled velocity speed (from 1Mbps to 2Mbps), and increased reading range up to 4 times with same power (these features can’t coexist, only one at the time).
Data size that can be sent over a Beacon increased to 255 bytes.
The use of the long reading feature drastically reduce the trasmission speed; That’s because greater is the distance, greater is the probability some bits will be lost, and perform the necessary controls reduce the amount of bits that can be sent.
Backward compatible with previous versions.
Summary Table of the major differences between Bluetooth versions (from 2.0 to 5.0).
Both Bluetooth and Bluetooth Low Energy operate on the same band (2,4GHz).
Both Bluetooth and Bluetooth Low Energy use the Master/Slave architecture: first you have to make the connection, than the communication can start.
BLE devices operate in Sleep Mode, so they wake up only if a connection request is sent, that allows them to have a longer duration than a Bluetooth Classic device.
BLE devices allow a faster connection and a more economic cost than a Bluetooth Classic device, but they have a lower data throughput and a lower reading distance.
POSSIBLE BLE-ORIENTED APPLICATIONS
Inside the IOT Industry (Internet Of Things), there are many applications in which the BLE technology can be integrated. Some example here below:
Indoor Position System-> Indoor tracking of a building with people/animals/objects in it (to know if the entity associated to the Beacon is in the area designed by the user).
Workplace Safety-> Constant monitoring of the workers and the possibility to send a special Advertising if something anomalous happens (e.g: fall, abandonment of the workstation etc…).
Access Control -> A beacon can replace the classic PVC card, but more permorming, there’s no need of a contact or to cross a gate, but only enter/leave a certain area determined by the user.
Marketing -> It’s possible to assign a Beacon to a certain category or product, and configure it with custom values, allowing the Beacon to send via Advertising a packet containing the relative data of the associated category/product.
Tourism -> Placing Beacons in different areas of a museum/park and associate them to a the desired areas/objects, so that it can describe them (Smart Guide).
Smart Home -> To Enable/Disable “smart” devices inside a house , based on certain values trasmitted by the Beacon (for example if a Beacon with a temperature sensor marks a value higher than 27°, send through ad hoc devices a command of POWER ON to an air conditioner). This type of applications don’t work only with a Master/Slave logic, but they need the support of ad hoc devices that can handle this type of dynamics.
The BLE technology is an excellent option for tracking and for long reading distance applications, by having a MAC ADDRESS that allows a global and unique identification. They can also be used alongside the RFID technology for many applications.
We are glad to communicate that since the begin of 2017 Global tag has been selected by Pool Industriale as qualified suppliers for manufacture companies that use RFID and BLE technologies, with particular focus to the side “tag transponder”.
Pool Industriale for 40 years selects supplier companies in the different sectors of the B2B in order to offers a complete view of the products and services that are needed for the carrying out of the production and business organization.
With a view to the development of the Industry 4.0 (Internet of Things) is very important, for us, this award for the work we have realized in these years, aimed to guarantee high quality products and services, to extend and improve our products range, that nowadays is composed by more than 300 possible solutions with different operation frequencies (LF 125KHz, HF 13,56MHz e UHF 868-915MHz), with the possibility, in some case, to mix them.
Thanks tothe agreement with the main players, we have been able to offer 360° RFID, NFC and BLE a 360° solutions, from the Hardware to the Software, in several application contexts.
Vivary is the new RFID and NFC tag designed for environments like vivariums, greenhouses, orchards and vineyards.
Its form and its easy application make this tag the best solution to track potted plants, flowers and ornamenal plants.
Frequently, in fact, there are circumstances in which the possibility to detect this kind of items becomes a very important resource, in order to allow to save time and money. Emblematic examples are applications as the inventory, very useful to update people about stock availability, or flowerpots tracking to track incomingand outgoing plants and flower, in order to minimize the error rate about the goods delivery.
Vivary – RFID tag for threes and vivariums
The RFID Vivary finds its perfect application in the vivariums, where it is possible tracking threes and make periodic maintenances and inventories.
Vivary usefulnessand practicality are represented by its applicability, by its low cost and by the possibility to supply these tags “in reel”: in so doing it is allowed to print information on the polypropylene surface of the tag.
Available in HF, NFC and UHF frequencies, many customization options are available, as encoding , logo , barcode, QRCode and serial number printing.
Yesterday ended the Tor de Geants 2016, one of the most renowned ultra trail runnng race, that closed the current edition with amazing statistics:
24.000 m difference in heights
… and HF/UHF RFID technology, used for participants checking and timing , in order to generate a live ranking, but also for security reason.
A challenge that has been won also thanks to RFID Kit implemented at Tor Des Geants: UHF Patchy and NFC Wristby .
We would like to congratulate with all the Tor De Geants organization, as every year, on the great success of this event.
Once again Global Tag responds positively to a customer need, deciding to develop a new RFID on metal tag that satisfies his specific requirements: applicability to metal surfaces, applicability on inhomogeneous surfaces, impermeability and strenght.
The RFID transponder that increases the Global Tag’s product range is called “Raptory” and it has been especially designed to incorporate all the features that make it a perfect “hard tag” for industrial application; as a matter of fact the name speaks for itself… after the T-Rexy (deriving from the most powerful and sturdy dinosaur T-Rex), now we are ready to welcome the Raptory (from Raptor, one of the most lethal predator, thanks to its power and its speed).
With IP68 protection class, it can withstand the most harsh environments. The impermeability allows it to be applied in indoor or outdoor places. The applicability on metal surfaces makes it a ductile tag, particularly suitable for asset and machinery automatic identification.
Raptory is an ABS RFID on metal tag (size 95x25x13mm), that is very rugged and able to resist to violent impacts. Thanks to the 3M adhesive on the backside, as alternative to the tivet holes placed at the side ends of the transponder, it can be easily applicable to every surfaces.
Available with LF, HF 14443, HF 15693 and UHF frequency, the hard tag Raptory has customization options, like the encoding (in UHF tag can be realized the EPC encoding, in which can be written the TID, or data supplied by the customer in database; In UHF tags it’s possible to realize the memory encoding) and logo, text, serial/progressive numbers, barcode and QRcode printing on the tag surface.