Perhaps a victim of its own success, the global proliferation of Bluetooth® technology in headsets, phones, watches, and cars has sparked multiple myths about what the technology can and can’t do. In truth, Bluetooth technology powers a wide range of essential solutions, from home automation and indoor navigation to commercial and industrial innovations

Myth: Bluetooth is Reliable Up to 30 Meters

For years, there’s been a widely held opinion that Bluetooth® technology is only good for short-range applications. This is due, in large part, to how the technology is used. Since the most well-known use cases, such as audio and wearables, have design requirements that dictate a shorter range, these developers chose to implement the technology and hardware in a way that delivers a max range of 10 to 30 meters.

In fact, the effective, reliable distance between Bluetooth devices can be greater than a kilometer and can even support reliable remote control of beyond-visual-range (BVR) drones. Bluetooth technology is a fit-for-purpose solution, and several factors can influence the effective range — from radio spectrum and transmit power to antenna gain and path loss.  

The variable range is proof of the technology’s versatility. Unlike other wireless technologies, the wide spectrum of achievable and reliable distances gives developers tremendous flexibility to create solutions that meet the precise needs of their target use case. Check out other factors — such as receiver sensitivity, antenna gain, and PHY — that play a role in determining how far Bluetooth range can go.

Myth: Bluetooth Can’t Go Through Walls

Think about when you’re trying to hear someone in the next room. The difference between the volume and clarity of what you can hear differs depending on what the walls are made of. You have an easier time hearing what’s on the other side of a sheetrock wall than you do if the wall is made of concrete. But, in either case, you can still hear a sound if it’s loud enough. The same idea can be applied to radio signals.

Path loss reduces signal strength as it travels through the air. It occurs naturally and is impacted by environmental factors like walls, windows, and other obstacles that might deteriorate the signal. But radio waves can still pass through objects, even concrete walls and floors, meaning that a Bluetooth® signal is not limited to the room you’re in. These barriers will have an impact on the overall range of the signal, but they don’t block it.

Myth: Bluetooth is a Consumer Technology

You’re not alone if you think of Bluetooth as a consumer-only technology. There’s widespread misunderstanding about the technology’s commercial and industrial potential. This, again, is due to the history of its use. In the last 20 years, Bluetooth technology created and cultivated hundreds of new global markets with audio streaming and short-range data transfer being two of the most prevalent. And while Bluetooth has made its bread and butter on your headsets, fitness trackers, and smartphones, that is just one aspect of the tech.

All over the world, developers use Bluetooth® technology to achieve wireless connections at distances of more than a kilometer, and these connections are the foundation of a new generation use cases like industrial asset tracking and large-scale sensor networks

Bluetooth technology can do a lot more than given credit for, and, through innovation in consumer applications, it continues to enhance the lives of millions of people around the world. But, in some ways, its success created a narrow perception of its capabilities. In truth, Bluetooth solutions are used to solve a multitude of less commonly known commercial and industrial challenges. 

Check out the Bluetooth range estimator and see how far Bluetooth range can go for you.

FEATURED TOOL

The Bluetooth Range Estimator

Calculate the expected range between two Bluetooth devices.

TRY IT NOW

How Bluetooth Low Energy Roll-Cage Beacons are Disrupting Postal Logistic Services

With the explosion of ecommerce and the changes in consumer behavior as a result of the COVID crisis, parcel delivery services are busier than ever before. In fact, many local, regional and even international carriers have broken one record after another in recent months.

New Core Specification v5.3 Feature Enhancements

One of the key reasons why Bluetooth® technology has emerged as the global wireless…

Bluetooth Location Services Device Growth to Trend Up Over the Next 5 Years

Best known for its innovation in audio streaming and wearable devices, Bluetooth® technology is also…

Bluetooth® Core Specification Version 5.3 Feature Enhancements

Bluetooth® Core Specification version 5.3 includes several feature enhancements with the potential to improve…

WA Notify app prevents thousands of COVID-19 cases, UW study finds

A study by researchers at the UW School of Public Health and the Washington State Department…

Sub-metre accuracy claimed for indoor Bluetooth positioning kits

U-blox is claiming sub-metre indoor accuracy with development kits for Bluetooth direction-finding and positioning.

Atmosic and Globalscale unveil lowest power Bluetooth Low Energy module

Atmosic Technologies and Globalscale Technologies are making available what is being claimed is the…

10 Resources That Showcase the Range and Reliability of Bluetooth Technology

Despite the overwhelming adoption of Bluetooth® technology across a wide range of global solutions…

Luminaire Level Lighting Controls and the Future of Healthy Buildings

As we build back from the pandemic, the building industry is rethinking how we…

Bluetooth Low Energy Innovations in Connected Vehicles That You Didn’t Know Of

The automotive industry is evolving at a fast pace. Modern automobiles are far from…

Building Automation: Achieving Energy Savings of Over 90 Percent With Smart Lighting Sensors and Bluetooth Mesh

Intelligent sensors are becoming increasingly important in building technology. Modern sensor technology with high-performance…

Understanding Bluetooth® Internet Gateways for IoT Solutions

Bluetooth® technology is used by nearly 40% of all Internet of Things (IoT) devices.…

Bluetooth® Technology and the Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic

Millions of people have installed smartphone applications which are designed to notify users if…

The Difference Between Classic Bluetooth and Bluetooth Low Energy

The naming conventions for Bluetooth technologies have changed over the years and still cause…

SmartShepherd Improves Scalability For Their Smart Farming IoT Applications With Cassia’s Bluetooth Gateways

Learn how SmartShepherd partnered with Cassia Networks to enable real-time tracking and monitoring of…

How to Unlock the Full Potential of Networked Lighting Control Systems

A revolution is at hand. Intelligent luminaires are expanding beyond the standard on/off and…

State-Of-The-Art Smart Lighting In A Peace-Of-Mind Package

Retrofitting an energy efficient lighting scheme can involve a lot of upheaval and, with…

Secure and Accurate Distance Bounding for Bluetooth Secure Access

Are you involved in the design and development of products that rely on secure…

2021 Bluetooth Market Update

Supported by updated forecasts from ABI Research and insights from several other analyst firms, the Bluetooth Market Update highlights the latest Bluetooth trends and forecasts.

How Bluetooth® Technology is Enabling Safe Return Strategies in a COVID-19 Era

This report shares insight into how Bluetooth® technology is being leveraged by organizations of all sizes to…

Designing and Developing Bluetooth® Internet Gateways

Design and implement your own Bluetooth® Internet working prototype and see for yourself how BIGs allow applications to exchange data with Bluetooth devices from anywhere in the world.

How Wireless Technology Is Enabling the Adoption of Commercial Connected Lighting

This report on commercial connected lighting systems developed by Guidehouse Insights analysts shares perspectives…

How to Deploy BlueZ on a Raspberry Pi Board as a Bluetooth Mesh Provisioner

This step-by-step study guide will teach you: How to rebuild the kernel on a…

Bluetooth Location Services

See 8 use cases for enhancing building efficiencies and creating a better visitor experience, discover new data that supports the latest trends and forecasts, and find out what’s driving the rapid adoption of location services solutions.

How to Make Wearables Bluetooth Mesh Provisioners

Learn how to create applications for smartwatches and other platforms that can monitor and control nodes in a Bluetooth mesh network.

Lighting as a Platform

See how connected lighting systems are being used as a platform to enable advanced building services like wayfinding, asset tracking, and space utilization to improve the ROI of smart building investments.

Build a Smarter Building with Blue

See how Bluetooth increases reliability, reduces costs, and enhances your smart building ROI.

 Get Help