The future of M2M wireless technology will increasingly be influenced by low energy local area applications. By 2020 there will be an estimated 12 billion wireless devices connected to the Internet. This growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) will require connected devices – often small with sensors and radios – to be efficient and small.
Cellular connections require a more expensive and larger power source relative to the cost of a sensor or small RF device and a combination using local low power wireless technology to cover the distance between the wireless M2M devices, and a gateway connected to the existing infrastructure or the cellular network is starting to become commonplace.
As a wireless technology option Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) is a breakthrough with ultra-low power consumption and simple connectivity to many smart phones and tablets including all recent iOS and Android devices. This ability to integrate BLE enabled sensors and controls with iOS and Android devices opens up a huge market to develop applications.
BLE and Classic Bluetooth technologies are fundamentally different. Where Classic Bluetooth technology is suitable for continuous streaming data applications including voice, BLE is ideal for applications requiring periodic transfer of small amounts of data. A BLE device reduces power consumption by maintaining sleep mode, waking only when a connection is initiated. Coin cell battery-operated sensors and actuators can smoothly connect to BLE enabled smartphones, tablets or gateways.
Bluetooth Low Energy (also called Bluetooth 4.0 or Bluetooth Smart) was approved in July 2010 and is a stable platform on which to develop solutions. With over 19.000 companies as members in Bluetooth SIG and over 2.5 billion products shipped Bluetooth technology is already well supported across industries. Bluetooth Low Energy, though, is set to propel growth and shape the future of M2M Wireless technology.
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“Shaping the Wireless Future with Low Energy Applications and Systems”
by Rolf Nilsson, CEO of connectBlue
This paper covers the new trends with Internet of Things, the demands on low power and mobile connectivity, wireless technology options, wireless coexistence and potential low energy applications