BLE plays key role in smart homes

Wireless protocol connection technology commonly found in smart homes include Z-Wave, WIFI and Zigbee/Thread. Yet, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) is fast gaining popularity as the preferred solution for smart homes due to its lower cost, low power consumption, easy development and good interoperability.

Z-Wave is highly reliable, easy-to-network with a low power consumption and a closed wireless connection protocol but is only available through Sigma Designs. WIFI is good for high data transfer rates due to its single gateway but its high power consumption and low reliability with no support for Bluetooth Mesh makes it unsuitable for multiple applications in smart homes. Zigbee/Thread’s low power consumption, ease-of-use, reliability and compatibility with Mesh may make it a good solution but it lacks support for interoperability and requires mobile phones to connect through gateways.

In comparison, with the recent release of Bluetooth 5.0 and Bluetooth Mesh standards, BLE is fast overcoming shortfalls like low transmission rate and short transmission distance to become the industry leader amongst wireless internet protocols used in smart home innovations.

Montage of smart phone held in hands with overlaid graphics representing common household appliances controllable from smart phone

Through Bluetooth 5.0, you can now broadcast 8 times the volume of data at 4 times the effectiveness of current versions. As Bluetooth technology matures, Bluetooth Mesh also facilitates the setup of a Bluetooth Ecosystem that supports smartphones, sensor technologies and cloud service platforms. This means that Bluetooth Mesh standards installed in a smart home enables you to control up to 40 lights with a single mobile device, without any Gateway for relay.              

These advancements pave the way for the third wave of the internet— the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT refers to the widespread application of the internet in everyday lives. This ranges from smart homes, logistics, smart cities and lifestyle wearables like the BLE wristbands.

The BLE wristband features Step counting and Activity tracking (AAR), crisp OLED smart display with time and steps data, auto syncing of activities on Android Apps, auto firmware update that occurs Over-the-Air, 5 months of data storage records and a battery life that lasts more than a week. 

Fitness tracker with screenshot of tracking activity results
Suppliers Main Chipset
  • Dialog
  • DA1458x, DA14681
  • Nordic
  • NRF51822, NRF52832
  • TI
  • CC2541, CC26xx
  • NXP
  • QN902x, QN908x
  • STM
  • BlueNRG-1, BlueNRG-2
  • Microchip/Atmel
  • IS187x/ ATSAMB11
  • Cypress
  • PROC, PSOC 4 BLE
  • Rohm
  • ML7115 ,ML7125
  • Toshiba
  • TC35661, TC35678
  • Renesas
  • RL78/G1D
  • Broadcom
  • BCM20737,BCM20736
  • Murata
  • BLE Module
  • Panasonic
  • BLE Module
Wristband features Key components Target applications
  • Step counting and Activity tracking (AAR)
     
  • Display clock and step count / activity tracking on the device
     
  • Sync and show activity statistic on Android APPs

     
  • Over-the-Air Firmware Upgrade
     
  • Storage for 5 months record
     
  • Crisp OLED display
     
  • Display battery level status
     
  • Battery lifetime: > 1 week
     
  • nRF51822 - BLE SoC
     
  • ICM30630 – 6-axis Motion Tracking Sensor with Integrated Sensor Hub
     
  • MAX14676/MAX14674A - PMIC
     
  • M95M02 - 2 Mb SPI EEPROM
     
  • DS1342T - RTC
     
  • AHB36132U1 - 70 mAh 4.2V Li Poly Battery
  • Wristband
     
  • Smartwatch

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