Bluetooth Low Energy is a radio standard that was developed in 2009. With BLE, devices or beacons can communicate with each other over a distance of more than 50 meters. In contrast to "classic" Bluetooth, BLE consumes less power and is less expensive. BLE is not suitable for transmitting large amounts of data because the transmission rate is relatively low.
BLE radio technology is based on two components: a transmitter and a receiver. The receiver is also called a beacon. The beacons are usually battery-powered. BLE technology offers the possibility of recording the position of customers, users, visitors or objects in a room. Areas of application are navigation, payment and customer communication.
Due to the modulation method used, BLE is suitable for transmitting small data packets in rapid succession. Modulation takes place using Gaussian Frequency Shift Keying (GFSK) and frequency hopping (FHSS). For this purpose, the frequency band is divided into 40 channels with a width of two megahertz. Three of the 40 channels are reserved for contact between BLE devices. At the lower and upper end of the frequency range, one frequency band each serves as a safety band to neighboring frequency ranges.
Current research estimates that 13 billion BLE-enabled devices - from smartphones to IoT trackers - are in use. By 2025, the number of BLE devices shipped annually is expected to reach 6.5 billion. This includes more than 1.2 billion connected devices for IoT applications and around 2.2 billion smartphones, tablets and PCs. 35 percent of these are then expected to be BLE devices. By 2024, it is expected that all devices will be 100 percent dual-mode capable and thus support Bluetooth Classic and Bluetooth LE. The two technologies - Classic and LE - differ in the number and bandwidth of the channels used and the network topologies supported.
At the heart of the WIliot Platform are IoT Pixels. Low-cost tags the size of a postage stamp for seamless manufacturing into just about anything. IoT Pixels continuously collect data about the world around them and are powered by harvesting radio frequency energy, or a thin printed battery. IoT Pixels transmissions are secure, with encrypted data transfer and access control protocols, and can be read via existing Bluetooth devices.