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What is vBLE (Virtual Bluetooth Low Energy) and how it Works?

  • Akansha Sharma
  • Nov 03, 2023
  • RFID
What is vBLE (Virtual Bluetooth Low Energy) and how it Works?

vBLE (Virtual Bluetooth Low Energy) is a Bluetooth-based communication technology which is used to connect bluetooth LE enabled devices without needing a physical BLE beacon. To understand vBLE better, we first need to understand how Bluetooth and BLE technologies work.

Bluetooth is a wireless communication technology primarily used to connect devices at short distances. For example, it allows wireless keyboards, smartwatches, and headsets to communicate with smartphones and computers. Similarly, like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, BLE operates in the 2.4 GHz band to establish connections between devices. In contrast to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, it consumes low power while performing its communication operations. A beacon based on BLE technology will remain in sleep mode until you initiate the connection. And that is how BLE beacons consume less power.

Understanding vBLE

vBLE is based on BLE technology, patented by Juniper Networks, specialized for indoor location-based services that use a virtual beacon rather than relying on a physical beacon for precisely locating a BLE enabled device.

vBLE uses a 16-element directional antenna array, which is capable of sending radio frequency signals in multiple directions. The technology will help eliminate the need to mount a Bluetooth access point physically. It will also eliminate the need for battery-powered BLE beacons throughout a site making positioning operations cost effective.

It uses an AI/ML engine to calculate the location of a device from the data captured by the virtual BLE beacon with great accuracy.

How does vBLE work?

vBLE works same as Bluetooth Low Energy but utilizes several components as followings:

1. 16-directional antenna vBLE array: A 16-directional antenna array in a room is capable of transmitting radio signals in multiple directions, which maximizes the scalability or coverage area for BLE signals with minimal investments.

2. AI/ML engine: An AI/ML engine in vBLE technology will continuously collect and analyze data in real-time coming from devices to ensure accurate location, and it will eliminate the need for manual calibrations and time-consuming survey sites for data preprocessing.

3. Virtual-BLE beacons: A virtual beacon can be deployed or moved with some clicks of a mouse (or APIs) rather than installing a beacon physically. It will deliver more scalable and cost-effective solutions for accurate location data.

4. Programmable SDK: Juniper Networks offers an open-source mobile SDK, a fully programmable architecture for open APIs to use vBLE technology according to their needs or to integrate vBLE with other products.

Why do we require vBLE?

vBLE can provide a cost-effective solution and resolve the operational challenge of deploying a large number of BLE networks. Let's understand the requirements of vBLE over BLE technology.

1. Deploying BLE-based systems into various management systems requires thousands of physical BLE beacons in a single location to fulfill the coverage requirement. The requirement of a thousand BLE beacons will increase the deployment cost.

2. Increasing the optimal performance and accuracy of a BLE beacon requires comprehensive site surveys to arrange and calibrate the position of a BLE beacon in each environment. In that case, any changes in the environment will require a new site survey and recalibration of the BLE beacon. The reason behind recalibration is that radio signals can be interrupted by physical changes to the environment.

3. Battery-powered BLE beacons can be taken off or stolen from the walls.


4. As the implementation of BLE technology grows worldwide, battery maintenance for BLE beacons can be problematic. While battery life has improved, an enterprise will produce and deploy tons of BLE beacons, distributed all across the world. So, the replacement procedure for their dead batteries can be a complex task.

What are the main benefits of vBLE?

Virtual BLE technology will provide a continuous solution for real-time tracking and mobile location calculation with various benefits:

1. It provides an optimal accuracy solution for locating BLE-enabled devices.

2. Enhanced overall customer experiences with location services such as real-time location tracking or wayfinding, asset tracking, and proximity marketing.

3. It increases the efficiency of allocating and managing people and assets within the site.

To conclude, vBLE technology is based on BLE and utilizes 16-element directional antenna arrays to empower indoor location services. It minimizes the cost of deployment and enhances the accuracy of real-time location-tracking solutions, including indoor direction wayfinding and location-based proximity services (notifications, marketing). Various businesses can use it without the need for expensive and battery-operated services.

Frequently Asked Questions?

Q1) What is a vBLE beacon?

A vBLE beacon is a software-based Bluetooth low-energy beacon that can help optimize the accuracy of location-based services. It does not require any battery support or manual installation to implement indoor location services. You can implement an unlimited number of virtual beacons in the required environment.

Q2) How will vBLE technology change indoor mobile experiences?

vBLE technology will change indoor mobile experiences by replacing the physical BLE beacons with vBLE beacons, which do not require any battery support. It allows businesses to place and move virtual beacons using programmable APIs, enabling more accurate, real-time location services and user experiences.

Q3) How will we implement vBLE technology?

Various businesses like retail, transportation, healthcare, and real estate wish to implement applications that enable asset tracking, inventory management, indoor navigation, and proximity marketing.

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.

  • Created on Nov 02, 2023

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