Title

Smartphones and BLE Services: Empirical Insights

Publication Type

Conference Proceeding Article

Publication Date

10-2015

Abstract

Driven by the rapid market growth of sensors and beacons that offer Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) based connectivity, this paper empirically investigates the performance characteristics of the BLE interface on multiple Android smartphones, and the consequent impact on a proposed BLE-based service: continuous indoor location. We first use extensive measurement studies with multiple Android devices to establish that the BLE interface on current smartphones is not as "low-energy" as nominally expected, and establish that continuous use of such a BLE interface is not feasible unless we choose a moderately large scan interval and a low duty cycle. We then explore the implications of such constraints, on the parameters of a smart phone's BLE stack, on the accuracy of a BLE-based indoor localization techniques. We show that while RF-based indoor location can be highly accurate (80% of estimates have errors less than or equal to 4 meters) for stationary users only if the density of beacons is high, the combination of (large scan interval, low duty cycle) causes the location error to degrade significantly for moving users. These results provide practical insights into the use cases and limitations for future BLE-based mobile services.

Keywords

Sensors, beacons, smartphones, Bluetooth Low Energy, Android, mobile services

Discipline

Computer Sciences | Software Engineering

Research Areas

Software and Cyber-Physical Systems

Publication

IEEE International Conference on Mobile Ad Hoc and Sensor Systems MASS 2015: October 19-22, Dallas, Texas: Proceedings

First Page

226

Last Page

234

Identifier

10.1109/MASS.2015.92

Publisher

IEEE

City or Country

Piscataway, NJ

Additional URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/MASS.2015.92

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