What Is BLE Technology?

By RFID Journal

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Ask The ExpertsWhat Is BLE Technology?
RFID Journal Staff asked 3 years ago

Can you please define the term? Is BLE a type of RFID?

—Mark

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Mark,

BLE, which stands for Bluetooth Low Energy, emerged out of the Bluetooth wireless technology standard, which was developed for short-range personal-area networks, which operate at 2.45 GHz. The original Bluetooth standard required that devices expend a lot of energy to transmit and receive data, so back in 2001, Nokia researchers began looking for ways to reduce power consumption and extend the battery life of Bluetooth devices.

In 2007, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (Bluetooth SIG), which manages the Bluetooth standards, agreed to incorporate the new low-power specifications (called Wibree at the time) into the Bluetooth standard. In 2010, the low-energy specification was fully integrated into the Bluetooth standard and was marketed as Bluetooth Smart, which was meant to distinguish devices that supported the low-energy version of Bluetooth from those that did not. Apple and other smartphone manufacturers began incorporating BLE into their phones in 2011 and 2012.

While BLE is not a form of radio frequency identification technology, RFID Journal covers the technology regularly because it can be used as an active RFID tag for tracking the locations of individuals and objects. For example, HID Global makes a system that allows hospitals to affix BLE beacons to assets and plug devices into wall sockets in order to locate those assets in real time.

—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal

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