Bluetooth is one of the most popular technologies for wireless data transmission, especially between embedded devices and smartphones. Its popularity has definitely experienced a hit with the rise of Wifi and it will continue to be the choice for wireless transmission between embedded devices, including devices such as headphones. The main reason for this can be attributed to the recent improvements in the technology. You may need to understand the key differences between Bluetooth 3 and 4 to understand the improvements in Bluetooth technology. Bluetooth now offers better security, faster data transmission and more importantly, lower power consumption, which is extremely valuable for devices with smaller batteries. Bluetooth Smart is one such subset of the latest version of Bluetooth – Bluetooth 4.0. Let’s take a look at why it was developed and its benefits.
Bluetooth Smart Overview
Bluetooth Smart, also known as Bluetooth Low Energy or BLE, was developed for efficient communication among small devices, including those related to IoT. Its origin was in 2006 when it was introduced by Nokia by the name Wibree. The name was soon changed to Bluetooth Smart in 2010 to integrate it into the Bluetooth standards.
Let’s take a look at some of the most highlighted features of Bluetooth Smart,
1. Power consumption is extremely low and is almost negligible when no data transmission takes place while still maintaining the connection.
2. It extends the battery life of embedded devices significantly e.g. devices with coin cell batteries can last more than a year with average use thanks to this technology.
3. Bluetooth smart leads to significant reduction in production costs of embedded devices – so you can find these devices at a comparatively cheaper price in the market.
4. Compatibility is another important feature of Bluetooth Smart. Since it is a part of the standard, every vendor has to maintain compatibility with this feature so that devices from different vendors can communicate using Bluetooth Smart.
5. Bluetooth Smart has a much higher range than normal Bluetooth, which is typically 100 meters.
6. Full AES 128 encryption is used for transmission so no one can understand your data even if they intercept it.
Low power consumption, multi-vendor compatibility, lower implementation costs, improved security, and range – all these features shows us that Bluetooth is moving in the right direction. Before purchasing any device which supports wireless transmission such as headphones, you should check if it supports Bluetooth Smart. And when it comes to smartphones and tablets, both Android and Apple smartphones released in the past couple of years has support for this.