Bluetooth Broadcasting

What is Bluetooth

  • Wireless technology for short-range voice and data communication
  • Low-cost and low-power
  • The Bluetooth specification was developed as a cable replacement in 1994 by Jaap Haartsen and Sven Mattisson, who were working for Ericsson in Sweden. The specification is based on frequency-hopping spread spectrum technology
  • Bluetooth networking transmits data via low-power radio waves. It communicates on a frequency of 2.45 gigahertz (actually between 2.402 GHz and 2.480 GHz, to be exact).

Ad Hoc Networks

  • Up to 8 devices can be actively connected in master/slave configuration
  • Piconets can be combined to form scatter nets providing unlimited device connectivity
  • A master Bluetooth device can communicate with a maximum of seven devices in a piconet.

Bluetooth Protocol Stack

Bluetooth Protocol Stack

Paring and Bonding
  • Bluetooth uses a process called bonding, and a bond is generated through a process called pairing. The pairing process is triggered either by a specific request from a user to generate a bond (for example, the user explicitly requests to "Add a Bluetooth device"), or it is triggered automatically when connecting to a service where (for the first time) the identity of a device is required for security purposes. These two cases are referred to as dedicated bonding and general bonding respectively.

Why Bluetooth broadcasting?

  • Bluetooth broadcasting will most likely not be able to replace broadcasting systems like television and radio broadcasts, or even message transmission technologies like e-mail, SMS/MMS and instant messengers (one example on instant messengers is MSN Messenger).
  • Unlike other digital channels for sending information, Bluetooth broadcasting allows for directing broadcasted information towards all people that are in the area, rather than a group of known people.
  • While SMS and MMS messages could to some extent fill the same purpose as Bluetooth broadcasting, using Bluetooth has the additional advantage of being free to use.
  •  It is not completely free of course, since it will still cost money for the hardware used for broadcasting, and for maintenance.

Bluetooth broadcasting could be used for

  • Concert halls, theatres and similar places could broadcast calendar events to inform about future events.
  • Museums could broadcast information about opening hours and special events. Inside the museum it could broadcast information about museum items or areas.
  • Trains and buses could broadcast information inside the vehicles, for example the list of bus/train stops, travel time, modified vacation schedules, and other information.

Broadcasting station

  • A broadcasting station may consist of a computer with one or more Bluetooth dongles, and running a broadcasting application.
  • However, it is not always practical to use a computer for broadcasting , depending on where one wants the broadcast to be.

Target devices

  • For a Bluetooth broadcasting system, the main targets for the broadcast will be devices that move within range of the broadcast
  • Mobile phones
  • PDAs (Personal Digital Assistants)
  • Laptops

File types

  • Text (as TXT files)
  • Still images (as GIF or JPG files)
  • Animated images (as animated GIF files)
  • Audio (as WAV, RMF, MP3, MP4 or ring tone files)
  • Video (as RM, 3GP or MP4 files)
  • Java Applications (as JAR files)
  • vCal (Calendar event files)