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BLE – Bluetooth® Low Energy

Contactless data communication and mobile authentication for longer distances up to 10 meters.

What is BLE?

Bluetooth® Low Energy (BLE), also known as Bluetooth® Smart, is a short-range radio technology for distances up to 10 meters operating at a frequency of 2.4 GHz. The main difference from RFID is that the information carriers (BLE devices) are active radio transmitters (beacons) and require a power source such as a battery. The beacons support contactless communication with BLE-capable mobile phones and other readers. Smartphones can also be used as radio transmitters, e.g., for mobile authentication.

Would you like to know more about BLE?

Which applications use BLE?

Bluetooth® Low Energy can be used in all applications that require nearby area data exchange. For example, keyring finders are typical and well-known BLE beacons. BLE is very effective for these types of scenarios since it covers a distance of several meters. Similar to RFID badges, BLE can also be used for identification and credential management. In these cases, hybrid readers are employed that can read both RFID transponders and active BLE beacons. For opening controlled-access emergency room doors requiring coverage for a distance of several meters. BLE is also suited for secure authentication at short distances, such as for smartphone identification.

Anwendungen
How it works

How does BLE work with ELATEC readers?

A BLE-capable device, e.g. – The BLE-compatible reader smartphone, scans all BLE devices in range and receives information about every possible connection. The BLE compatible reader from ELATEC broadcasts its existence to enable discovery. As soon as the connection between the smartphone and the reader is established and confirmed, the authentication process starts. To improve security during data transmission, the connection can be encrypted; it is also possible to add a complete credential to the BLE connection backend.

Range

What is the range for BLE units?

BLE-capable devices or beacons can communicate with one another from several (up to ten) meters away. Devices with Bluetooth® Version 5 or later can even reach 50 to 200 meters in ideal cases. This longrange can be harnessed to good effect depending on the usage scenario. Alternatively, BLE units can be set to only detect other units a very short distance away, similar to an RFID transponder.

Battery life

What is the battery life of BLE beacons?

Thanks to today’s very low power electronics, one single battery typically has enough power to supply a BLE transmitter (beacon) with energy for up to one year (depending on the frequency range and power level).

ELATEC does not currently offer any battery-operated products.

Standards

What standards are there for BLE?

The Bluetooth® Special Interest Group (SIG) organization is a network of participating organizations and companies that maintain, expand and employ Bluetooth® technology.

The SIG maintains and issues usage rights and licenses that allow others to use and deploy Bluetooth® technology.

BLE (Bluetooth® Low Energy) is an extension of the Bluetooth® industry standard. It was first released as part of Bluetooth® Version 4.0 and it is characterized by its extremely low energy consumption. Versions 4.1, 4.2 and 5.0 offer additional extensions and upgrades for the specification.

Readers with BLE

Does ELATEC offer readers for BLE?

Our TWN4 MultiTech series RFID readers/writers are also available with BLE support. You can use these in mobile applications for fast and secure authentication via smartphone (Android and iOS) for physical access control, secure printing, car sharing and much more.

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