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Exploring the Use Cases for BLE in Smart Cities

They say technology is the biggest equalizer in 21st century giving access to smartphones, TV, education, healthcare etc. to everyone. In the recent coronavirus pandemic, a developing country such as India managed the great feat of vaccinating the entire adult population with limited technological resources and saved millions of lives. Use of technologies such as IoT, AIDC, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning etc. to help create smart homes, smart villages and smart cities etc. is an aspiration that every country should look forward to. Technology holds the key to unlock a new height of sustainable human living standards across world and a technology like Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) is playing an important role in this endeavor. 

A smart city is a concerted effort to bring multiple technological solutions together creating an enhanced living experience for city residents as well as boosting tourism that results in significant increase in city revenue. Use of IoT technology such as BLE and RFID for managing traffic, transportation, utilities, healthcare and education forms the basis of a smart city with smart amenities. 

History of BLE

BLE is a modern age IoT (Internet of Things) technology that was first developed by Nokia with the name Wibree. It was meant to have the same features as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and other short range technologies using radio Frequency but low energy consumption.  With Bluetooth 4.0 specification coming up in 2010, BLE was a reality and the low energy consumption was the biggest highlight.  By 2021, BLE beacon deployment crossed the 400m mark and the no. is growing rapidly.

BLE is known for its low energy consumption but what it excels at is Proximity advertisement using the PAwR (Proximity Advertisement with Response) which forms the basis of many inventions such as health/vital monitoring devices, fitness trackers, smart watches, proximity ads in retail stores, Electronic Shelf labels, information broadcasting beacons on airports and railway platforms etc.

Let’s see some of the use cases of Bluetooth low energy (BLE) in smart cities, making life easier for residents and tourists:

Indoor Navigation with BLE

One prominent use case of BLE is positioning and indoor navigation felicitating micro-location with advanced signal processing and phase based distance measurement. This enables a higher degree of precision in tracking and positioning with accuracy to the centimeters.

Smart city infrastructure

 BLE can be used for managing and monitoring smart city infrastructure such as streetlights, traffic signals, and waste management systems.

Home automation with BLE

Smart homes build smart cities. The BLE technology can be leveraged for home automation systems such as smart lighting, temperature control, and security systems allowing for better living standards.

Enhanced Public transport services 

BLE beacons can be used in public transport systems to provide real-time information about arrivals and departures, as well as to help passengers navigate through stations.

Smart healthcare with BLE

The BLE technology also combines continuous glucose monitors, blood pressure monitors, and pulse oximeters in the smart healthcare facilities available in a smart city leading to better patient outcomes and improved living. 

 BLE can also be used in healthcare applications such as remote monitoring of patients, smart medical devices, and mobile health applications.

Information broadcasting

BLE can be used for connectionless applications such as information broadcasting in smart cities which can be quite useful for residents as well as tourists.

Mesh networking

BLE mesh networking technology can be applied to various use cases in smart cities development allowing for better services to residents. This will also help people at the time of emergency and quicken the emergency services response. BLE mesh networking also improves city administration.

The proximity advertisement with BLE at low power consumptions forms the basis of a wide range of BLE applications in homes, hospitals, educational institutions, shopping stores, departmental stores. In a smart city, BLE can enhance people movement, manage traffic and improve living. It also gives an opportunity to businesses in marketing and advertising to ensure that correct products and services reach to interested people, that too at low cost.

Disclaimer: The information presented here is for general information purposes only and true to best of our understanding. Users are requested to use any information as per their own understanding and knowledge. Before using any of the information, please refer to our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.

  • Last updated on Jun 16, 2023
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