Bluetooth Technology – An IOT device
This article is based on brief explanation of Bluetooth technology along with its pros and cons in the field of Internet of Things.
What is Bluetooth technology?
The name “Bluetooth” is given by “Jim Kardach” in 1997 during reading a novel “The Long Ships” about Vikings and King Harald Bluetooth. Jim Kardach invented a system (named as Bluetooth) that would allow mobiles phones to communicate with computers.
Bluetooth is a wireless technology used for short-range communication by which data can be transferred between different electronic devices. This replaces cables connecting electronic devices, cords, adapters, etc. and allows the fixed and mobile devices to communicate wirelessly among each other. Its distance of data transmission is very small as compared to other wireless communication. The small network created by this is known as Personal Area Networks (PANs). Person having phone conversation via headset, using wireless mouse, synchronize information from phone to PC, etc. all uses the same core system i.e. Bluetooth. It uses short wave-length in the unlicensed ISM band from 2.4 to 2.485 GHz which is the same range of frequencies used by microwave and wi-fi.
It is managed by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) which has more than 25,000 members in the area on telecommunication, computing, networking, and consumer electronics.
Bluetooth as internet of things
About 15 years ago, it was thought that the Internet of Things (IOT) theorized objects and people would connect wirelessly. Bluetooth provided the means for device communication and manufacturers built hub devices like PCs, smartphones, tablets, etc. to take advantage of these connections.
Now, because of Bluetooth, world is exploding with an array of devices connecting to these hubs. It is projected 30 billion devices will enter into IOT ecosystem by 2020 and analyst firms all over the world recognize Bluetooth as a key enabler in the internet of things.
The power of the transmitter governs the range over which a Bluetooth device can operate. So generally, devices can be one of the three classes which are as following:
- Class 1 are the most powerful and can operate up to 100m (330ft).
- Class 2 are the moderate (most commonly used) and can operate up to 10m (33ft).
- Class 3 are the least powerful and can operate maximum up to 1m (3.3ft).
Aim of Bluetooth
Bluetooth has set its aim little higher to arrive at a specification for a technology that optimizes the usage model of all mobile computing and communication devices and providing:
- Global usage
- Voice and data handling
- Ability to establish ad-hoc connections
- Ability to withstand interference from other source in open hand
- Very small in size, in order to accommodate integration into variety of devices
- Negligible power consumption as compared to other devices for similar use
- Open interface standard
- Competitively low cost of all units, as compared to their non-Bluetooth correspondent
- Less complications
- The biggest contribution or application to become popular is wireless control and communication between mobile and a hands-free headset.
- Wireless PDA, PC or laptop which has enabled Bluetooth can communicate with each other and update information.
- Wireless control and communication between mobile phone and compatible car stereo system, tablets and speakers such as iOS and android devices.
- Introduced wireless mouse and keyboards.
- Transfer of contact details, calendar appointments, various files, etc.
- Wireless bridge between two Ethernet networks.
- Dial-up internet access on PCs or PDAs via data-capable mobile phones as a wireless modem.
- Notification alerts when receiving mails on mobile phones or laptops.
- Locate a printer via laptop for printing the document once printer is located.
- For low bandwidth application where higher USB bandwidth is not required and cable-free connection is desired.
- Wireless communication between PCs in a confined space and where little bandwidth is required.
Pros and cons of Bluetooth technology
- It does not require any line of sight between the paired or connected devices. It means that the devices need not to be facing each other or in any position to transfer the data among each other. It can be in any position and anywhere within the range.
- It does not require any type of cable and wire connection which makes it so popular.
- As we know that the maximum range i.e.100m exists in class 1 Bluetooth which looks too small, but it’s not same for all similar connections. It depends on the nature of devices and its versions.
- In order to operate the devices, it requires very less power and battery consumption.
- Very simple and easy to use without paying any charges for connections and data transfer.
- Available at low rates.
- Very low chances of interference by other wireless devices.
- Small in size, hence easy to handle it.
- Compatible with all wireless devices.
- Robust in nature.
- Bluetooth by its nature not designed to carry heavy traffic loads. It would thus not a suitable technology for replacing LAN, WAN and back-bone cables.
- Though it offers around 25 Mbps, but certain other technology like LAN, Wi-Fi direct can offer up to 250 Mbps.
- Security is less as compared to other wireless communications.
- It inevitably consumes the battery when not in use.
Thank you for your patience 🙂