Chapter 13. Wireless Data with Bluetooth

When you hear the term Bluetooth, you might think first of telephone headsets, speakers, computer mice, or keyboards. These have nothing to do with Internet connections, right? Right. At least at first glance. However, closer examination reveals that Bluetooth may have a role to play in Internet-connected devices.

One of the hurdles of data transmission with WiFi is the need to set up an Internet connection, often manually, by selecting a network or providing a network password. This often hinders the design and development of connected experiences. Bluetooth has the potential to ease entry into a connected system. With Bluetooth, you can connect directly to devices, skipping configuration of networks or Internet access points. You can then build clever gateways to provide small data packages, depending on your location or profile.

The Bluetooth Low Energy Protocol

There are two kinds of Bluetooth currently in common use: the high-bandwidth Bluetooth popularized for telephone headsets, and the newer Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), also known as Smart Bluetooth and Bluetooth 4.0. The two protocols are entirely different from each other. Both can be used for building “smart” objects, but BLE is more common in IoT applications due to its low power consumption. Here are a few Bluetooth-based IoT applications:

  • Bluetooth can be used for discovering and identifying devices and services such as data from physical objects. This data can help to make ...

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