The Bluetooth radio standard
Bluetooth is a radio technology for wireless data transmission over short distances, which was developed in the 1990s. With this technology, data can be exchanged between computers and/or smartphones, but also everyday devices such as wireless speakers, keyboards or mice can be connected.
In addition to the classic Bluetooth, another radio technology has been developed: Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth LE, BLE), also called Bluetooth Smart. It has the same range as the classic Bluetooth – between 10 and 30 meters – and consumes even less energy. Walls and metal elements significantly restrict reception, which is why the range varies. Other electrical devices or radio networks are rarely affected by the Bluetooth signals.
Indoor positioning and indoor navigation using bluetooth
Bluetooth is one of the technologies most commonly used for indoor positioning and indoor navigation. The determination of position is based on a transmitter-receiver principle and so-called beacons are required. The position can be determined by measuring the signal strength. In scenarios using client-based positioning, the end device (smartphone) receives the signals from beacons and the position is determined directly in an app on the device. Using the app, the user can then see their current position and navigate to their destination. The battery life of the beacons is two to eight years, depending on the application. Alternatively, the beacons can also be connected to a power source or use the power supply of lamps.