The basics of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE): Page 6 of 7

October 20, 2016 // By Abhishek Gupta and Imran Mohammed, Cypress Semiconductor
Bluetooth technology has revolutionized wireless communications between devices with its ubiquitous and simple characteristics. It allows devices to communicate without cables while maintaining high levels of security. Because of its low power and low cost, Bluetooth has played a pivotal role in the evolution of applications from high-speed automotive devices to complex medical devices.

Strong security – Full AES-128 encryption using CCM provides strong encryption and authentication of data packets so communications are secure.

Topology – BLE uses a 32-bit access address on every packet for each slave, allowing billions of devices to be connected. The technology is optimized for one-to-one connections while allowing one-to-many connections using a star topology.

Table 1: Comparison between classic Bluetooth and BLE.


Because of its ubiquitous deployment in portable devices, BLE allows for wholly new applications across all industries. For example, consider the different ways BLE can be used at a trade show to increase the effectiveness of a company’s investment in meeting new customers:

Gamification – BLE can be used to encourage attendees to explore less popular areas of a trade show booth by offering them special rewards for discovering strategically placed beacons in those areas.

Sponsorships – Leverage beacons for additional revenue by pushing notifications that prompt attendees to check out the closest booth when they pass by a certain zone at the trade show venue. This can be a premium service offered to sponsors.

Heat mapping – With access to real-time statistics, beacons can recognize hotspots and send alerts to event managers about locations that are overcrowded and more prone to security breaches.

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