Bluetooth low energy (BLE) software solutions tailored to your IoT project. Custom development of mobile apps, cloud software and BLE firmware
for the Internet of Things systems.
Why Do You Need BLE Software For The IoT Applications
Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology is often used in the IoT applications due to its low power consumption and efficient data exchange protocols.
Bluetooth is the only IoT technology that is natively supported by the devices people use: mobile phones and tablets.
BLE protocol is standard and is well defined, making it possible to mix and much IoT devices, software and mobile apps from the different vendors.
These features make BLE a preferred technology for the IoT systems. Bluetooth low energy is used in various
IoT solutions, from smart homes to the industrial automation systems. And for each project you need BLE development, whether it is a cloud software,
a mobile app, a gateway software, a firmware or any combination of the above.
What Is Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)
Bluetooth low energy (BLE) is a protocol for the wireless communication between devices within the short range.
BLE protocol is based on the classic Bluetooth. However, unlike classic Bluetooth, BLE is very energy efficient.
It is designed for the short bursts of data rather than non stop communication.
Bluetooth low energy was created to meet the needs of the
smart IoT and wearable devices. As a rule these devices work on the batteries, and low energy use is vital for them.
Smart devices also do not need continuous data stream of Bluetooth classic.
They only need to exchange short messages once in a while, for example send out sensor data.
Bluetooth low energy uses very low power since it is in the "sleep" mode most of the time.
It wakes up to send out a short message and falls asleep again until the next data exchange period.
BLE has several levels of security built-in, giving mobile app developers an option of low or high security based on the specific project.
BLE is a standard protocol, which means that you can combine devices, mobile apps and software from the different vendors.
What Is Internet Of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of connected devices, or "things", that can exchange data with each other and with the remote cloud server.
IoT technology automates business operations, reduces the need for the manual labor and provides valuable data to the companies.
Some examples of IoT applications in business include:
- IoT asset tracking. An IoT asset tracking system
allows companies to track assets, equipment and tools automatically using
and Bluetooth IoT gateways.
- IoT conditions monitoring. Bluetooth IoT sensors
allow companies to remotely monitor conditions for the equipment, inventory and properties. This can include
IoT temperature and humidity monitoring,
monitoring for the unusual vibration patterns on the equipment, pressure and pH monitoring, etc.
A company can data logs from the multiple sites remotely via a single dashboard, and receive instant alerts if anything goes wrong.
- Predictive maintenance.Monitoring of equipment conditions allows companies to detect issues early and correct them
in time. It prevents equipment break downs and extends its useful life.
- Smart buildings. IoT systems in the smart buildings save energy, reduce manual labor,
and make all systems within the building operate smoothly with less breakdowns. IoT is mostly used for the smart lighting systems, HVAC systems and security systems.
In the consumer market, IoT devices are used in the smart homes, providing home owners with the extra convenience and comfort.
Why Use Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) For IoT Systems
Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology offers several advantages that make it well-suited for the IoT systems:
BLE has very low power usage
One of the most significant advantages of BLE is its low power usage. BLE devices can operate for months or even years on a small
coin cell battery, making it ideal for IoT devices that need extended battery life.
BLE devices are low cost
BLE chips are very inexpensive, which makes mass production of IoT devices cost-effective.
Low cost of devices is crucial for the IoT applications, since IoT systems often consist of many devices interacting with each other and the cloud.
BLE works with the mobile phones and tablets
BLE is the only IoT technology that is natively supported by the devices people use - mobile phones, tablets and laptop computers.
This makes it easier and less expensive to develop IoT software and mobile apps. Ability to use mobile phones
instead of the specialized equipment reduces hardware cost required for the system deployment.
BLE has built-in security
BLE has various levels of security built-in, allowing mobile apps developers to pick the the right security level for a specific IoT application.
BLE supports mesh networking
allows for the creation of the large-scale networks
where many devices can exchange data with each other. This is very useful for the smart buildings and industrial applications
where IoT devices are spread over a large area. BLE mesh also decreases the number of gateways required for the system deployment, and
thus reduces overall cost of the IoT system.
BLE beacons are small plastic tags that can broadcast signal to the neaby BLE receivers.
BLE receiver can be a smartphones or tablet, a computer or a dedicated gateway.
BLE beacons technology has a lot of use in the industry. It provides a base for the asset tracking apps,
people tracking, visitor check in and check out systems and proximity marketing applications, just to name a few.
BLE Software, Mobile Apps And Firmware: Ready-To-Go Products And Custom Development
AHG has a number of ready to go BLE based software products. These include a
Bluetooth IoT asset tracking system
a BLE mesh software
and a Bluetooth IoT gateway software
We will work with you to customize existing BLE software to your requirements if needed.
If you need a custom software and mobile apps development, our existing code base will make it faster and at a lower budget.
We have experience developing Bluetooth software and mobile apps in the following areas:
BLE Mobile Apps Development
We will help you develop Bluetooth mobile apps for Android and iOS
We have experience developing BLE beacons apps, applications for the setup and control of BLE IoT devices,
and BLE mesh applications.
BLE Beacon Mobile Apps
BLE beacon tags
are mostly used for asset, inventory and people tracking. AHG offers a BLE asset tracking system
that you can use as is, or customize
to better suit your needs.
You can track assets and inventory using BLE tags and a smartphone, or use Bluetooth IoT gateways for a fully automated tracking system. You can find more info
on the BLE asset tracking options here
BLE Mobile Apps For Control Of IoT Devices
All devices that people use, from home appliances to industrial machinery to sensors, need some input and interaction from the users.
Users should be able to adjust settings, control device actions and / or download data from the device.
Before IoT and BLE technologies became main stream users could interact with
the devices via a control panel, or a series of buttons. Bluetooth low energy technology allows manufacturers to replace control panels and buttons with the
BLE mobile app. BLE mobile app is a more flexible, convenient and a cost-effective option for allowing users to interact with the equipment and IoT devices.
We can help you develop BLE mobile apps for IoT devices setup and control
These BLE mobile apps can be linked to a cloud software for the real time data exchange with the central database.
BLE Mesh Mobile Apps
A Bluetooth mesh allows a network of BLE devices to communicate to each other and the cloud software. A BLE mesh is very popular for
the smart lighting systems
, HVAC systems in the smart buildings,
and building security systems. BLE mesh makes these systems self-supporting, energy efficient and easily controllable through a cloud software or by a mobile app.
AHG has developed a ready to go BLE mesh software and a mobile app
that you can use as is, or as a base for your custom BLE mesh project.
Cloud IoT Software For BLE Devices
In most IoT projects Bluetooth devices need to exchange data with the central database located on a remote cloud server.
BLE devices often need to transfer data on their state, events and sensor measurements to the cloud software.
These data then can be accessed by the authorized software users from anywhere via the web interface.
On the other hand, IoT devices need to get data from the central database that are required for their configuration, control and management.
We have experience developing cloud software that interacts with the Bluetooth IoT devices via a mobile app or a gateway. The software can be hosted in our cloud,
on your company's internal network, or with the cloud service provider such as Azure or AWS. As a rule, a cloud software will help you manage
users of the IoT software system,
register and manage BLE devices and gateways, and review various reports.
Bluetooth IoT Gateway Software
Regardless of what type of IoT system you have in mind and what is the business scenario, IoT devices usually need to exchange data with the remote cloud server.
BLE devices have a short communication range and cannot connect to the cloud server on their own. This connection is usually done either
via a mobile device (a smartphone or a tablet), or via a gateway. If you want an IoT system that works on its own, without relying on a human with a smartphone
and a mobile app,
then you need to use gateways.
IoT gateways may passively pass data from the BLE devices to the cloud software and back, but this is not a perfect solution. As a rule, IoT devices
produce a lot of redundant data, and it is a waste of bandwidth and space on the cloud server to transfer all data without filtering.
An edge IoT gateway can filter incoming data based on the pre-set rules,
batch the data and transfer data to the remote cloud software at the pre-set time intervals.
We sell an edge IoT gateway
with the installed software
as a part of our IoT asset tracking system
. You can buy
dedicated gateways with the gateway software installed, or buy a stand alone gateway software that you can install on your own devices.
These can be iPads, Android tablets,
or Linux based computers.
For the IoT projects that are not related to asset tracking we can develop custom IoT gateway software
that you will be able to use on Linux based systems,
iPads or Android tablets.
Bluetooth Low Energy Firmware Development
We can develop firmware for the Bluetooth chip or module for the applications that involve communication of a smartphone with an IoT device via BLE.
BLE firmware will interact with the mobile app on one end and the main microcontroller of IoT device on the other end, providing a connection
between your device and a mobile app.
The firmware will:
- Initialize BLE stack.
- Start and stop BLE advertising. The advertising can be maintained at all times, or start on demand, with NFC activation or a press of a button.
- Initialize and maintain connection between a mobile app and an IoT device.
- Connection can utilize the appropriate degree of security based on your specific IoT application.
- Implement standard or custom BLE profile(s).
- Manage power consumption of the device to ensure the longest battery life possible.
We have experience working with the BLE products from Nordic Semiconductors in the nRF52 series (nRF52832, nRF52833, nRF52840).