Bluetooth LE

What is Bluetooth LE?

Bluetooth LE

First off, Bluetooth refers to a common technology for wireless communications between electronic devices. It was invented by Swedish cell phone maker Ericsson in 1994, and is now managed by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group. It operates on the Industrial, Scientific and Medical (ISM) 2.4 GHz short-range radio frequency band.

It is frequently used for computer and cell phone peripherals, such as headsets, computer keyboards and mice, and sending music to car stereo systems. Coordinating contacts, songs and other data between a cell phone and a computer was one early use. While the standard does not limit the range, most phones, as class 2 devices, have a range of less than 10 meters.


Bluetooth Low Energy is a technology that was merged into the Bluetooth standard 4.0 in 2010. As its name implies, it is designed for very low energy systems. This is particularly helpful for cell phones. Bluetooth Smart Ready and Bluetooth Smart are common consumer names for the technology, and iBeacon is a name that Apple, Inc. has created for Beacon technology uses. This latter term is merely Apple’s branding of the technology for its own purpose.

The intention is for BLE devices to set up wireless personal area networks, i.e. small, typically temporary networks of communicating devices. It is not compatible with the older Classic Bluetooth protocol, although it does work on the same frequency bandwidth.


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