After playing around with the Texas Instruments CC2540 Development Kit and writing an iOS app for it, I have some notes I'd like to share.
- Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy (BLE) solves many of the problems of the previous Bluetooth technologies.
- It offers more reliable connections.
- Longer distance communication, 100 meters is no problem.
- Much lower energy consumption. A small sensor+transmitter combination could work on just a small coin size battery, for over a few months.
- There is a trade off, of course. For all these goodies, you have to sacrifice speed. The bit rate of communication is pretty low, do forget about audio/video streaming.
- This technology is targeted towards bring telemetry like applications to smartphones. So in this sense I see BLE as the direct competition to technologies like Zigbee.
- Think of personal health monitors, smartphone controlled gadgets, room temperature and humidity sensors which can be monitored on iPhones and Androids. No special monitoring devices will be required.
- I can see that BLE has a future, especially because smartphone industry drivers Apple and Samsung have already started adopting BLE. iPhone 4S, the new iPad, some of the newer Macs already come equipped with BLE. Samsung Galaxy S3, HTC One X and V, Motorola Droid RAZR and others also come equipped with BLE.
- I'm already thinking of some product ideas, are you?