Bluetooth Low Energy Technology
Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) is a variant of the Bluetooth technology used everywhere in consumer electronics. BLE is optimized for long-life without sacrificing range – up to 300 feet – making it an ideal tracking technology.
BLE for Construction
BLE tracking devices come in uncased and cased models for indoor or outdoor use in construction equipment tracking. Cases are designed to house the beacon using hardened, water-resistant protection for construction or extreme conditions. The beacons can be screwed, bolted, tied, or glued to a variety of mixed assets.
How does BLE work?
A BLE beacon sends out a periodic signal, typically once per second, that can be read by a BLE reader at distances ranging from 0 to 300 feet away. The technology is optimized to conserve battery life, so beacons can last for 3 years. The Beacons use common cellphone batteries for power – which are inexpensive and easy to replace. Because of the way they transmit, they can be used indoors or outdoors.
How are BLE signals read?
BLE beacons release regular “heartbeat” or “ping” signals that are read by a device’s (i.e. smartphone) Bluetooth function. Once Bluetooth is enabled on a device, the reader works automatically in the background when a beacon is in range to pick up these location pings without the need for human intervention. You have probably experienced this if you have tried to pair your phone to your car or to an external device – the Bluetooth functionality picks up the devices in range allowing you to make a connection.
Some applications (apps) utilize a smartphone’s built-in Bluetooth capability to act as a reader for a BLE beacon to transmit its information. The app records the item’s identifier, location and associated data which is then transmitted to software to interpret or the cloud where it is stored.
What is Bluetooth technology used for in construction?
BLE Beacons are excellent for fully automated tracking of small to mid-sized assets.