This is not the right question to ask. The right question is – Which technology will meet my needs?
Although Bluetooth and Bluetooth Low Energy (aka BLE or Bluetooth Smart) sound almost the same, they are different technologies and used for completely different purposes.
What’s the difference between these two technologies?
- Power consumption – While applications on Bluetooth can run for only a few hours, BLE runs on a much lower energy, thus applications will run up to 5 years on a small battery.
- Data transmission – Bluetooth transmits a lot of data, while BLE is designed for periodic transfers, therefore, it’s vital for applications that need to transmit less data over shorter distances.
- Cost – Bluetooth will cost you more than BLE.
Bluetooth is more suitable for streaming music, handsfree mobile applications and communication between computers and external devices like handsfree headset, car stereo system, wireless keyboards and printers, game consoles and wireless speakers.
BLE is highly effective for communication with sensors like battery life indicator, glucose or blood pressure measurement, wheel speed measurement and more. It’s mostly serving applications in the sport and fitness, beacons, healthcare, security, wearable computing and home entertainment industries.
Operating systems supporting BLE
- Android 4.3 and later
- Linux 3.4 and later through BlueZ 5.0
- iOS 5 and later
- Windows Phone 8.1
- Windows 8 and later
- Unison OS 5.2
- BlackBerry 10
How to use BLE in Variscite’s System on Module (SoM)?
Our top SoMs that are supporting BLE connection includes the following products: VAR-SOM-MX6, DART-6UL, VAR-SOM-MX7, VAR-SOM-AM33, DARt-SD410, DART-MX6, VAR-SOM-SOLO/DUAL, VAR-SOM-AM43, DART-4460, VAR-SOM-OM37.
Each can be customized and configured with numerous options to optimize cost/performance for your specific needs, including BLE/Bluetooth options.
Full procedures and software developer guides for all of our products are available on our wiki site: www.variwiki.com
Here is an example of how to find, connect, access and receive notification from BLE devices based on i.MX6 SoMs using Linux Yocto framework: