IoT is the new trend. IoT is making everything smart around us. IoT is the future. All of these sentences are arguably correct. Internet of things (IoT) that started in 1999 with the idea to connect physical devices to internet (like your smartphone or smartwatch) has suddenly become the Internet of Everything.
With industrial IoT (IIoT) and Internet of medical Things (IoMT), IoT has become ubiquitous. One such technology that is driving IoT in short range applications is Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). Although there is RFID, QR codes, Bluetooth classic, Wi-Fi, and ZigBee, BLE stands out with its low energy consumption and cost effectiveness.
What is Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)?
Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) is a wireless Bluetooth technology that came into existence around 2010 when Bluetooth 4.0, an upgraded Bluetooth standard was launched. However, it differs from Bluetooth Classic in many ways, one of them being the data transmission rate. Bluetooth Low energy is developed to provide a data transmission rate of 125 kbit/s, 500 kbit/s, 1 Mbit/s, 2 Mbit/s over a wake latency of 6ms, significantly less than 100ms wake latency of Bluetooth classic. This actually allows for periodical data transfer as well as low power consumption. A BLE beacon battery can last for few years.
The original specification was actually developed by Nokia in 2006 under the name Wibree which was later integrated with Bluetooth 4.0 by SIG (special interest group).
Bluetooth Low Energy finds many applications as Bluetooth beacons in health, advertising, fitness trackers, sports and smart homes etc. it uses the same unlicensed 2.4GHz ISM frequency band as Bluetooth classic to transmit data and it’s compatible with android, IOS, MacOS, Linux, and Windows operated smartphones, tablets and laptops respectively.
What do we mean when we say smart home? How smart it has to be? Not smarter than individuals living there, I hope. The concept of smart homes arises from technology felicitated automation in various day to day activities at home. It might include smart doors that open and close automatically by measuring the proximity of individuals, smart kitchen appliances, smart dishwasher, smart taps, smart bathroom and smart lighting etc. IoT has also enabled smart access control and security features as well as smart smoke detection, smart alarms etc.
Use of RFID and BLE in smart homes has totally changed our views on technology and it will further enhance our shared living experiences.
Top 5 BLE Applications for Smart Homes
BLE has the potential to automate trivial day to day tasks like opening the door, alerting you when you run out of milk in your refrigerator, preventing unauthorized access, broadcasting information in case of emergency as well as keeping track of health vitals of individuals through smart fitness trackers and health instruments.
Let’s see top 5 BLE applications for smart homes:
1. Smart access control
BLE once implemented successfully can automate the access control into your smart homes. It can be calibrated with individual’s smartphones to allow the access and prevent unauthorized access in your home and garage by alerting home owners on time.
It becomes very crucial when you live in a crime sensitive zone and you have small kids to look after.
2. Smart lighting
Another application of BLE in smart homes is smart lighting. BLE enabled smart lighting allows you to control the intensity of light bulbs, color arrangement based on mood of the occupants, automated dimming and switching off/on etc. It can be calibrated to work automatically and can be controlled by smartphone or tablet itself.
3. Smart kitchen
A smart kitchen is the most useful feature of a smart home. Integrated with smart Kitchen appliances, BLE can used for creating menus, recipes and broadcasting operating procedure and functions of the kitchen appliances. Kids can easily use any appliance when need be. BLE can also alert you about the things you’re about to run out of in your refrigerator.
4. Smart shower
A smart shower/bathroom is another highlight of using IoT in smarthomes. BLE can alert you about water temperature, water heating time, and water availability as well as if your shower is occupied or not by proximity sensing profile.
5. Health monitoring
BLE also finds its application in health monitoring by blood pressure, heart rate and glucose monitoring profiles. It can alert home owners and occupants about air quality inside the home as well as if someone is having a breathing issue.
To summarize, BLE is a key use of technology especially IoT to create smart homes. It has changed how we look at technology over the years.
- Last updated on Apr 10, 2023