Years ago, when people used to transfer files and documents over their mobile phones, Bluetooth technology was the primary gateway for such a task. However, in the early days of Bluetooth adoption, it was believed to be contributing significantly to the diminishing battery life of a mobile device. Also, the smartphone was far less common, and therefore, mobile apps were not widely consumed by the public.

The Internet of Things (IoT) has brought a revolution in the world of technology and connectivity. Bluetooth, with its extended range, speed of transfer and mesh networking capabilities has played a large part in the success of the IoT. But…this is only just the beginning for Bluetooth, particularly its Low Energy (BLE) variant.

According to reports, more than 5 Billion devices will be shipped in 2021 with an implanted technology of BLE in them.

Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), also known as Bluetooth 4.0+, is massively assisting the internet market in ensuring an easy and power-efficient connection among IoT-enabled devices.

If we look back at Bluetooth’s history, Bluetooth was perceived to be one of the main contributors as to why the phone’s battery dropped throughout the course of a day, even when not in use. It was then considered to be a high-battery-consuming element in mobile phones, driving the habit of ‘switching off’ Bluetooth to save battery life.

But this is no longer the case…

BLE was a game changer for Bluetooth technology as the energy consumption on BLE enabled appliances, is far less than ever seen before. Interestingly, devices such as a ‘beacon’ used for proximity marketing, way finding, data capture etc., can now operate for as long as 3-4 years from two AA batteries. The same applies to your mobile phone. Connecting to your car’s hands-free system, headphones, smart watches and more, no longer saps battery life the way it once did.

Sound exciting?

Let us explore some interesting facts about Bluetooth technology and see how BLE will impact the technological future.

Short History of Bluetooth Technology

It was more than two decades ago that the concept of replacing cables with a wireless form of communication was conceived. Dr. Jaap Harrtsen of Ericsson pioneered the technology as early as 1994, then, it took only a few years for Bluetooth technology to find its’ way onto our shelves in the form of the Ericsson T39.

All the development works and certifications of Bluetooth technology are now being monitored by an official group known as the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG).

In 2009, after several versions of Bluetooth, SIG released Bluetooth 4.0. However, it was later rebranded in 2016 to Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). Four versions of Bluetooth have been introduced and SIG are currently working on a version 5. This without doubt, aimed at further solidifying the future of Bluetooth and its role in the implementation of IoT and Artificial Intelligence.

SIG was first established in 1998 as a non-profit organization that now works with a group of more than 30,000 members.

How Bluetooth Low Energy Has Impacted the Retail Industry?

Industries, in particular Retail, have been waiting a long time for smart technology companies, to bring in new advances that can empower smart phone users with the ability to enhance the communication process, while gathering key data and insights on the customers journey and overall experience.

Beacons, used by retailers for proximity marketing and communication, have been around for years. However, to date, the legacy issues surrounding Bluetooth technology, particularly the impact on mobile phone battery life, has somewhat hindered adoption and success in the market.

As mobile communication increases, wireless communication devices like toys, gaming devices, headphones, smartphones, and watches are working using BLE with just one charge.

Bluetooth low energy is the most fascinating technology from a marketing perspective.

Considering the investment retailers are now placing on customer retention, through developing complex loyalty schemes and mobile applications, using beacon technology is now more important than ever for improving engagement with the customers. Or, in other words, linking a customer’s online profile with their physical journey.

Best of all?

Generally, a traditional beacon has little to no visibility of what is in its range. Most commonly compared to a ‘lighthouse’, their main function was to broadcast a generic, repetitive message just to let the customer know, “hey, I’m here!”. This is pure advertising and not a two-way interaction, which is a handicap in the conversational economy age. What is more, traditional beacons do not provide high level security protection and have a maximum range of up to 100m.

Compare that to StagFox technology, which:

  • Is digitally encrypted to securely verify user ID, location, and time
  • Can assure custom data broadcasting and facilitate data payloads
  • Utilizes 256bit elliptic curve cryptography PK for security
  • Expands conversational distance range to up to 200m (how is that for social distancing?)

StagFox is the only true customer presence device in the world.

With just a single notification, communications are taking place on a larger scale. All of this has been made possible due to the technological advancement of Bluetooth Low Energy.

What are the uses of Bluetooth Low Energy in Retail Industry?

• Increasing customer spend

Having the ability to identify and communicate with your customers, in real time, is the missing piece of the puzzle for brick-and-mortar retail. By capturing data and communicating through BLE technology, retailers now have the ability to react to their customers online presence in a physical location, in real-time.

It uses a strategic approach to attract more customers and present customer analytics to maximize customer insights and shopping behavior.

• Online Payments

Beacons are now widely used to execute online payments between users. BLE works by transmitting signals, and customers can easily pay through contactless payment platforms.

• Building Customer-Relationship

Right after the purchases are made, customers are kept in contact with the company through various incentives to build a stronger relationship and stay ‘on-top-of-mind’.

This helps in building trust and increases the overall growth in customer loyalty

How does StagFox BLE Work?

Bluetooth Technology functions by sending radio signals to nearby devices. As with exchanging information among various devices, Bluetooth can also operate with other instruments in a range. This gives the retailer the ability to first, identify their customers and then initiate custom communication.

What happens next?

As soon as the transmitted signal reaches the targeted device, the latter generates a Universally Unique Identifier Number to the cloud to ensure the device’s identity. Each instrument produces a Unique Identifier Number (UID).

Once the UID is exchanged, the two devices are remotely connected; further letting them begin the communication process.

What are the uses of Bluetooth Technology?

Beacon devices are used to send signals to the cloud through Bluetooth-enabled devices. With an identity number recognition, the Bluetooth-enabled device, a smartphone for example, displays the targeted content.

The following are some of the practical uses of Bluetooth Technology or BLE in various life aspects.

  1. Targeted Ads
  2. Reward Check-In
  3. Marketing to Enhance Business Awareness
  4. Navigation Using BLE
  5. High Speed Transfers
  6. Real time customer feedback, Surveys, NPS

Why is Bluetooth Technology so important for our future?

Now that the advantages and facts about Bluetooth technology are more clear, we still need to address the impact and benefits BLE will bring in the near future.

To explore, let us discuss.

  • Reduced Battery Drainage

We cannot stress enough how important it is to address the stigma that Bluetooth (BLE) drains the life of your battery. The reason why BLE has gained massive success over the years is its low power consumption. On average, Leaving Bluetooth (BLE) ‘switched on’ consumes only “1.8%” of battery throughout the day. This figure improving at every new device launch.

  • Bluetooth Technology in IoT

According to stats, almost5 billion devices” are ready to be shipped in 2021, compared to 3 Billion devices, in 2015.

  • Smartphone Demand is Higher Today

According to reports, In 2013, there were 1.3B smartphone users – 19% of the population. In 2020, 45% of the world’s population were connected by smart phones.

  • Application Usage 

Gone are the days when applications were only used to play games like the legendary “snake”. According to recent data, during the COVID pandemic, most smart phone users exert an average of 7 hours of daily screen time, most of which is spent on applications. In fact, recent studies revealed that up to 87% of time spent browsing, is on mobile applications.

  • Wearable Technology

Smartphone devices such as watches, gaming devices, fitness gears, etc., are referred to as wearable technology. With users switching to wearable technology, more people switch to devices with Bluetooth technology to ensure data transfer efficiency. 72 million people are expected to own wearable technology by 2024.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, the future of Bluetooth technology is very much secure. Statistics show it will be adopted in multiple industries and sectors, supporting IoT and AI implementations. Relatively, communication through Bluetooth is not new, however advances in the technology by companies like StagFox, is allowing businesses in multiple sectors to better understand and keep in touch with their customers, digitally and physically.
If you are eager to change the dynamics of your business, then we would suggest you do not miss the exciting features being offered by Bluetooth Low Energy. Run for the latest technological advancement before it is too late. To read more, visit our website.

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