Low-energy Bluetooth tracking

by Inside Logistics Online Staff

Link Labs has released its Xtreme Low Energy (XLETM) technology for IoT asset tracking.

A  patented wireless communication method, XLE extends the battery life of Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) tags by more than 400 percent, or by up to three years longer, and improves accuracy in asset location to within one meter.

XLE is offered exclusively in Link Labs’ AirFinder OnSite IoT asset tracking platform, which launched in March 2021.

“With XLE, we’ve engineered a better version of Bluetooth LE that delivers an even greater capability to conserve power consumption while providing even more accurate location measurements to a tagged asset,” said Bob Proctor, CEO of Link Labs.

“By building on industry-standard, off-the-shelf Bluetooth LE tags with our proprietary firmware, XLE is a great option for companies looking to track assets more precisely across a broad and open indoor area. It’s ideal for manufacturing or warehousing and distribution environments where you need to find assets several times a day with near-exact location without straining the battery life of the IoT components.”

Bluetooth LE is wireless communication technology that enables IoT devices to connect and communicate with each other. Because it transfers a very small amount of data at one time, Bluetooth LE consumes a very low level of power while increasing transmission speed and accuracy in determining an asset’s location.

When used in an asset management system, these qualities can make a substantial positive impact on a company’s costs – by not having to replace batteries frequently in hundreds to thousands of IoT devices, companies can save costs on both the purchase of replacement batteries and the labour required to change batteries.

Link Labs’ XLE technology conserves even more of the battery life of an asset’s Bluetooth LE tag through phase-ranging, which also more accurately identifies an asset’s location to within one metre, or three feet. When tags and beacons communicate with one another using XLE, a phase measurement provides a precise location by triangulating the location of a tag from at least three beacons.

As with GPS, tags in an AirFinder OnSite system measure ranges to known points to quickly and precisely calculate their own x/y/z coordinates. Using this method, XLE battery tags can last up to seven years, whereas traditional Bluetooth LE tags typically last around three years.

XLE can cover a very large area but can also be scaled down based on specific business needs or only where coverage is needed.