Meraki Bluetooth-enabled access points include high performance WiFi, a dedicated security radio, and something extra: a dedicated Bluetooth radio and antenna, extending the power of location awareness and returning meaningful value to customers.
Universal support, enabling real world applications
Bluetooth Low Energy was incorporated into the Bluetooth 4.0 specification in 2010 and experienced rapid uptake, including all the major operating systems, many of the smartphones and tablets we use today, plus a new breed of devices like fitness bands and simple RF tags. Bluetooth Low Energy excels at sharing small packets of data, referred to as attributes, over a low energy link, and is frequently used for health monitoring, proximity detection, asset tracking, and in-store navigation.
Dedicated, efficient hardware with simple management
Meraki Bluetooth enabled access points contain an integral Bluetooth radio and dedicated antenna, providing superior coverage and convenience to support these applications. In other words, no other hardware is required, it’s all built-in.
Bluetooth Low Energy, as its name suggests, is designed to sip power, enabling some dedicated beacons to run for years on a single battery, opening up new practical applications at low cost. Bluetooth is also an efficient standard when it comes to radio interference. Operating in the 2.4 GHz ISM band, it uses frequency hopping technology to circumvent interference problems often seen in this band. Cell sizes can be tuned to the application requirement, with potential range comparable to 2.4 GHz WiFi, even taking into account the low power requirements of the standard.
Everything is managed through the Meraki dashboard, with a monitor view for identifying Bluetooth devices, their connectivity history, and tagging for simple organization and search.
Putting Beacons to work
Meraki Bluetooth enabled APs enable customers to begin developing practical applications for Bluetooth Low Energy devices. These can be broadly categorized into ‘push’ applications, where the AP informs an aware device that it is in a certain location, or ‘pull’ applications, where the AP listens for beacons and uses this information to assist with asset tracking and control through the dashboard. Location analytics based on Bluetooth Low Energy generally work on an opt-in basis, with the consumer enticed via an app which leverages location for mutual benefit.