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Bluetooth 5.4: A Game Changer for Asset Tracking

Bluetooth 5.4: A Game Changer for Asset Tracking

New Features in Bluetooth 5.4 and Its Beneficial on Asset Tracking

Bluetooth technology has revolutionized the way we interact with our devices, enabling wireless data transfer over short distances. The latest iteration, Bluetooth 5.4, introduces a host of new features that have the potential to enhance asset and personnel tracking and data transfer applications. In this paper, we will explore how these new features can benefit asset tracking, making it more efficient, accurate, and reliable.

Enhanced Range and Power Efficiency in Bluetooth 5.0

Bluetooth 5.0 with the new 28nm semiconductor technology improves the receiving sensitivity significantly and boasts a significant increase in range (from 50m to 200), enabling asset tags to be tracked from further distances. This is particularly beneficial for large environments such as warehouses, factories, and outdoor spaces. Additionally, Bluetooth 5.0 introduces new features that enhance power efficiency, allowing asset tags to operate for longer periods on a single battery charge. This is a crucial consideration for asset tracking applications, as it reduces the need for frequent battery replacements and maintenance.

Lansitec Whitepaper Bluetooth Technology and Common Terms Introduction – Lansitec

Improved Accuracy and Precision in Bluetooth 5.1

Bluetooth 5.1 introduces a feature that improves the accuracy and precision of tracking, the Angle of Arrival (AoA) technology, which allows Bluetooth devices to determine the direction of a signal. This enables more precise positioning of Bluetooth tags and beacons, especially in complex environments with multiple obstacles. Emergency Safety & Production Management Intelligent accurate-tracking Solution

Periodic Advertising with Responses (PAwR) and Encrypted Advertising Data in Bluetooth 5.4

Bluetooth 5.4 introduces two major features that benefits Bluetooth tracking significantly Periodic Advertising with Responses (PAwR) and Encrypted Advertising Data.

  • Periodic Advertising with Responses
    We will use the terms advertiser and receiver (tracker, gateway, bridge) to explain how it works. The data is transmitted by the advertiser and received by the receiver. The novelty of PAwR is that the transmitted data is divided into small packets that are sent in fixed time slots that the receiver can sync with and reply to. The data is transmitted within PAwR events that are composed of PAwR subevents. Each receiver can sync to one or more subevents, and only receive actively in those specific time slots when they are synced.
  • PAwR is particularly beneficial for asset tracking applications, as it allows Bluetooth tags, sensors, beacons, and controllers to be easily discovered by tracking devices or Bluetooth gateway. This is because the tags are constantly advertising their data. PAwR allows the data to be organized in small packets within deterministic time slots that the receiver can precisely synchronize with and respond to, so tracking receivers do not have to scan for them all the time or periodically but only scan for a short, specific period of time. This feature offers more flexibility in the timing of tracking, which in turn improves the accuracy and delay. Additionally, it helps to reduce power consumption, as devices do not have to scan as frequently. This feature extends the battery lifecycle of battery-powered or solar-powered Bluetooth trackers and gateways (for example, Lansitec trackers, Solar Bluetooth gateway, and Macro Bluetooth gateway).

PAwR also allows Bluetooth devices to respond to other devices that have discovered them. It allows the devices to exchange data without establishing a complete connection and allows more Bluetooth connection. It is useful for collecting sensor data (blood pressure monitor, weighing scale, temperature sensor, etc.) as it allows tracking devices to collect data from asset tags without pairing with them.

  • Encrypted Advertising Data
    Before Bluetooth 5.4, there was no standard to encrypt the advertisement data, for example, iBeacon or Eddystone for positioning and data transmission. Encrypted Advertising Data is another new feature in Bluetooth 5.4 that allows Bluetooth devices to encrypt their advertising data. This is important for asset tracking applications, as it can prevent unauthorized access to asset data. For example, if an asset tag is advertising its location, it can encrypt the location data so that only authorized tracking devices can see it.

    Encrypted Advertising Data uses a new encryption algorithm called AES-GCM-128. This algorithm is designed to be lightweight and efficient, so it is suitable for use in asset-tracking applications.

    Benefits of PAwR and Encrypted Advertising Data

    PAwR and Encrypted Advertising Data offer a number of benefits for asset tracking applications, including:

    • Increased range: PAwR allows Bluetooth devices to advertise their presence at longer distances, which can increase the range of asset tracking applications.
    • Reduced power consumption: PAwR and Encrypted Advertising Data can help to reduce power consumption by reducing the need for devices to scan for each other.
    • Improved security: Encrypted Advertising Data can help to protect asset data from unauthorized access.
    • Enhanced scalability: PAwR and Encrypted Advertising Data allow Bluetooth devices to communicate with more sensors and assets, which can improve the scalability of asset tracking and sensor data collection applications.

Overall, PAwR and Encrypted Advertising Data are valuable new features of Bluetooth 5.4 that can improve asset tracking applications’ efficiency, accuracy, and security. Please stay tuned with us on the progress of the related products.