Bluetooth Low Energy: A Closer Look

Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)—also known as Bluetooth Smart—is a relatively new version of Bluetooth technology that offers significantly less power consumption and costs compared to Classic Bluetooth while still maintaining a similar communication range. BLE does not replace Classic Bluetooth. Rather, each technology supports a specific market space. 

The primary difference between BLE and Classic Bluetooth has to do with the way data is transferred. Classic Bluetooth, offering a substantially greater throughput, enables for higher volumes of data to be exchanged and is ideal for continuous, streaming data applications such as telephone earpieces, game controllers, and wireless keyboards and printers. 

In comparison, BLE is optimized for applications that require small and infrequent data transmissions. Since BLE’s power use is so efficient, it is ideal for applications that use small batteries—in fact, BLE-enabled devices can run on coin-cell batteries for years. 

Data loggers, which utilize episodic or periodic transfers of small amounts of data, are especially relevant for BLE technology. Other devices that are BLE appropriate include breathalyzers, thermometers, and heart rate and blood pressure monitors. 

Key advantages of BLE for data loggers 

With BLE adoption to data loggers, users can realize unprecedented benefits related to easy operation, seamless data access, and efficient data collection and management. BLE allows for environmental data to be quickly transmitted wirelessly from data loggers to mobile devices without the need to connect cables, log on to the internet, pair devices, or install computer software. 

Users can conveniently download, configure and manage data remotely from 100 feet away without ever coming into physical contact with the data logger—an ideal scenario for monitoring of limited-access areas.

Friday, April 15, 2016 - 11:30