The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) is raising awareness of the range of Bluetooth, which can span to over a kilometre. The most well-known Bluetooth use-cases, including personal audio and wearable devices, have design requirements that dictate a shorter effective range.
Developers of these traditional solutions have therefore chosen to implement the technology and their hardware in a manner that delivers a maximum range between ten to 30m.
However, developers are using Bluetooth to achieve a reliable connection range of more than a kilometre to support exciting new use cases. Some of these include industrial asset tracking, large-scale sensor networks, and even reliable remote control of beyond-visual-range (BVR) drones.
To demonstrate the capabilities, use-cases and range, Bluetooth has released the Bluetooth Range Estimator tool. The Bluetooth Range Estimator is an online calculator and a self-service tool that allows developers to estimate the expected range between two Bluetooth devices in several representative environments by inputting values for the variables that most impact effective range.
“All over the world, developers use Bluetooth to achieve wireless connections at distances of more than a kilometre, and these connections are the foundation of a new generation use cases like industrial asset tracking and large-scale sensor networks,” commented Martin Woolley, Senior Developer Relations Manager, EMEA, Bluetooth SIG.
“Bluetooth can do a lot more than given credit for, and, through innovation in consumer applications, it continues to enhance the lives of millions of people around the world. But, in some ways, its success created a narrow perception of its capabilities. In truth, Bluetooth is used to solve a multitude of less commonly known commercial and industrial challenges.”
The variable range is proof of Bluetooth’s versatility. Unlike other wireless technologies, the wide spectrum of achievable and reliable distances gives developers tremendous flexibility to create solutions that meet the precise needs of their target use case.