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What you need to know about Bluetooth LE

A decade ago Bluetooth was a revolution. Now it is making a comeback. David Evans looks at Bluetooth LE and what the future holds for this technology.
A decade ago the introduction of Bluetooth was a revolution. The ability to connect to other devices and transfer files without the use of wires was the future. Now, as we were all getting excited about sending each other songs to each others shiny flip screen phones, Bluetooth was emerging as a leading piece technology in the market.

Where did the name ‘Bluetooth’ come from?

“Bluetooth” comes from the 10th Century Danish King Harald Blatand or Harald Bluetooth if you prefer. The King helped to unite factions at war in parts of Scandinavia. The idea of Bluetooth was that the technology would allow different products and industries to all connect together. Isn’t that nice.

However, one of the disadvantages of Bluetooth was its high energy consumption and with the rise of Wi-Fi over the last few years, Bluetooth needed a new angle. This is where Bluetooth LE came to play.
What is Bluetooth LE?

Bluetooth Low Energy, or ‘Bluetooth Smart’, enables devices which run for a long period of time to connect with other products without draining its own power. The key to its battery life is switching off when it is not in use.

One of the more recent applications of Bluetooth LE are ‘iBeacons’.

‘iBeacons’ are transmitters which pick up and send messages to nearby Bluetooth LE compatible devices. For example, when walking past a high street store an iBeacon will send a message to your phone promoting a deal for that day.

Bluetooth LE can also work with your smartphone to find your specific location. Again, when you’re in a store and near a certain item, the beacon can send a message to your phone to promote a specific deal.
What could the future look like with Bluetooth LE?

According to ABI Research, Bluetooth LE could become a 60 million unit market by 2019. Although we’ve spoken about the retail industry so far, ABI believes that there will be a bigger share of the market in the commercial and personal tracking sectors and more integration of Bluetooth technology into the home.

The development of Bluetooth LE could also have an impact, not just on the wider electronic community, but society as a whole.

Bluetooth LE can integrate with the concept of ‘The Internet of Things’. A system which allows devices to talk to each other to produce an intelligent and streamlined technology partnership.

With the ‘Internet of Things’ your fridge could order food before you run out, your toothbrush could tell your tablet if you have brushed enough and the computer at your desk could turn on before you sit down.

Sound interesting? You can find out more about the Internet of Things here.
Hager and Bluetooth LE

Bluetooth technology is already being used in Hager products. As a market leader in problem solving in connecting, distributing and facilitating electrical energy, we want our products to benefit anyone who uses them.

Our lighting control system Klik, embraces Bluetooth technology and allows the user to manage and programme the lighting preferences in a building through an iPad.

Gazing into the future, Klik could embrace Bluetooth technology even further to provide a more personal experience.

Recognising the users mobile phone, sensors could display a users lighting preference when entering a room. It could even have the user’s settings ready before someone enters a different room as the LCM recognises that you’re scheduled to enter that room for a different meeting.

Bluetooth may have taken a back seat over the last few years but it could be set for a revival. With less energy to consume and detection from further distances, Bluetooth LE is one to keep an eye on.
Author: David Evans
Posted: 21st June 2016
Get in contact: info@hager.co.uk | Twitter