Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)

Bluetooth® Low Energy (BLE), also known as Bluetooth® Smart, is a short-range radio technology (operating at 2.4 GHz). The main difference from RFID is, that BLE devices are active radio transmitters and need power, e.g., from a battery. With today’s low power electronics BLE Beacon applications can easily operate up to a year with one single battery depending on broadcast frequency and power level.

A key technology for innovative IOT applications

More than 90% of smart phones sold today are BLE-enabled. What opportunities does the proliferation of BLE technologies present for user identification and access control?

This guide shares insights into leading-edge B2B and B2C applications for BLE technologies, from parking to printing— and how to get the most out of emerging BLE solutions.

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What applications are available with Bluetooth Low Energy?

For example, typical BLE Beacon applications are keyring finders, where the fact that BLE can easily cover several meters is used.

Similar to RFID badges, BLE can also be used for identification as there are hybrid cards available that include a RFID and an active BLE transponder (e.g., to open access doors from a few meters away at emergency room entrances).

With the necessary algorithms in place, BLE can also be used for short range identification, e.g., smart phone identification.

ELATEC’s readers with Bluetooth® Low Energy technology for mobile applications enable secure authentication in applications such as computer access, identification, secure pull printing, time and attendance, car sharing and more.

How does BLE work in our ELATEC products?

Your BLE compatible device, e. g., your smartphone, scans all BLE devices in range and receives information about every possible connection. An ELATEC TWN4 MultiTech reader with BLE capability will broadcast its existence to enable discovery. As soon as the connection between your phone and our reader is established and confirmed, the authentication process starts. For security purposes, the connection itself can be encrypted and a whole credential backend can be added to the BLE communication.

ELATEC’s latest RFID multi-technology card readers with BLE use Bluetooth V4.1, upgradeable to V4.2 and even V5 once it is released.

What does ELATEC offer in terms of BLE?

We offer identification and credential management for mobile applications (Android, iOS).

Selection of ELATEC´s products with BLE support


What range do BLE units have?

Bluetooth devices can communicate with one another from several meters away. This long range 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 RFID transponders.

How can the shelf life of the battery be calculated?

ELATEC does not currently sell any battery-operated products.

Where can BLE conceivably be used?

Anything requiring near-field data transfer.

What specific standards are there and what characterizes them?

BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) is an evolution of the Bluetooth industry standard, published as part of the specification Bluetooth 4.0.

Versions 4.1, 4.2, and in future 5.0 (will) all enhance the specification and develop it further.

What other standards are there and what do they state?

The Bluetooth SIG (Special Interest Group) is a network of participating organizations that maintain and upgrade the Bluetooth technology.

The SIG manages and issues the usage rights and licenses required to use BLE technology.

Other technologies

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)
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Near Field Communication (NFC)
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