What are the different options for IoT product development and how to choose between the BLE and WiFi? Here is everything you need to know.
How to Choose Between BLE and WiFi for IoT Product Development
The IoT technology industry is growing at such a rapid rate that it is now known as the king of technology in all the industries and businesses out there. Those who use this technology can benefit themselves greatly to come up with the best products and stay ahead of the competition. Innovations in the field of IoT each year make this technology more exciting than ever. However, there are so many wireless communication technologies such as BLE and WiFi around, choosing the best technology for your projects can be an uphill struggle. That’s why we have come up with this comprehensive guide for you. Here, we’ll tell you the differences between the different technologies in detail so that you can decide the best option for yourself. Let’s get started then!
What are the Different Options Out There?
Wireless communication technology has now become an integral part of communication devices no matter where you use them. Since they do not require any wires to send or receive signals, you can communicate from them even if you are present in a remote area. Some perfect examples of wireless devices include GPS units, cordless telephones, satellite television, wireless computer parts, and many more. Apart from this, there are some major parts of wireless communication as well. These consist of a BLE, WiFi, satellites, NFC, Infrared, and Cellular Connectivity.
Ever since the surge in the IoT apps, the NFC and IR technology became virtually non-existent. Even though Infrared communication promised potential when people used flip phones, you will hardly see them nowadays. That’s because this technology requires the devices to be present close to each other. Not only this, but the bandwidth is extremely low as well.
On the other hand, Near Field Communication only allows the range of less than 20cm. Only a few cell phones support this feature as it includes a low transmission capacity. Moreover, even though cellular connectivity is a suitable option to run IoT devices with a 5g network, you will need to have a SIM card and pay subscription fees.
So, this leaves us with the remaining best options: BLE and WiFi.
BLE or Wi-Fi: Which One Should You Choose?
The BLE technology enables to send data over short distances. Due to its efficiency, this wireless technology is quickly replacing WiFi, especially in IoT apps and devices. However, you still need to consider some important factors while choosing between these two wireless technologies. Let’s take a look at them below.
Once you turn on your WiFi router, it will constantly search for a nearby WiFi network. This is an extremely useful feature for retailers as they can use it to track their customers and send discounts and offers to them. Not only this, but you can even keep a record of their physical movements to the same location. But, the major drawback is that this technology does not take the customer’s permission to track their location. That’s because there is no involvement of the user intervention. So, you will have to disable it on your device if you want to get rid of it.
On the other hand, for the BLE technology to work, the customer will have to switch on the Bluetooth feature in their mobile phones to allow the detection of location. As a result, you can opt to receive only indoor or in-store notifications.
So, if you want to choose a technology that offers more privacy, we would suggest that you opt for the BLE technology as it gives you freedom over the data that you share with the public.
BLE is more appropriate for transmitting data of small amounts at 1Mbps. Some examples include acceleration details, sensor readings of temperature, and GPS coordinates. However, if you want to send data to a server in real-time, then the BLE technology would not be suitable. So, if you require real-time data, you will need a special gateway to send it.
On the contrary, WiFi technology is capable of transmitting data at a speed of up to 1.3Gbps. This is what makes it an ideal option to transfer bigger files and data. However, the speed that you get depends upon many other factors as well. One such example is the provider that you have subscribed to.
3. Location Detection Accuracy
When you position the BLE router indoors, it uses advertisement packets to provide extra information to the users. All the extra information completely adheres to the iBeacon standard. That’s because the Beacons utilize Bluetooth Low Energy for sensing the proximity of the users and for broadcasting the information to their devices one way such as laptops, smartphones, tablets, and mobile apps.
Each of these devices consists of a UUID number that other Bluetooth receivers can read. Once the device gets the signals successfully, it will activate the location-specific information. These signals pass through different radio waves that are capable of penetrating through physical barriers. This helps in ensuring location accuracy. Not only this, but it also allows Beacons to work in conditions where the radio frequency is poor. So, all you need to do is get the device that supports Bluetooth and turn it on.
In comparison, WiFi is a LAN technology that utilizes two or more electronic devices to communicate with each other with the help of the ISM radio band. This is what allows it to triangulate the location of the customer by sending the BSSID of the access point.
So, if you are involved in micro-locating, the BLE technology is the best option out there. That’s because the WiFi signals cannot penetrate through solid objects such as walls.
To summarize, wireless communication between IoT product developments can take place with many technologies. However, if you want the best, you should definitely go with the BLE. That’s because it would provide you with a seamless experience and saves you from the trouble of manually transferring and connecting data. Need more information on the BLE and IoT product development? Contact us now and we will be happy to assist you in any way we can!