What is Bluetooth?

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Bluetooth connectivity enhances the convenience and productivity that mobile printing provides by taking cables and clutter out of the workspace. Bluetooth enhances the bottom line by eliminating cable-related costs. Those are the main reasons Bluetooth quickly went from a funny-sounding, misunderstood emerging technology to one of the most-valued features demanded by enterprise mobile computer users today. 

What is Bluetooth?

Bluetooth is a global standard for a small radio module to be plugged into computers, printers, mobile phones, etc. A Bluetooth radio is designed to replace cables by taking the information normally carried by the cable and transmitting it over radio frequency in the unlicensed 2.4 GHz frequencies to a receiver Bluetooth radio chip. This technology not only enhances the convenience and productivity for various devices by taking cables and clutter out of the workspace but also enhances the bottom line by eliminating cable-related costs. 

What is Bluetooth used for?

Bluetooth is used for pairing devices such as printers and beacons to other fixed or other Bluetooth enabled devices. With Bluetooth now paired between devices, data can be shared simultaneously.  

How does Bluetooth work?

For Bluetooth to function correctly, devices must have Bluetooth enabled and must be within range of each other. Once both devices are in proximity, the devices in which a user wishes to connect must be paired. An automatic message will appear on both devices prompting a message asking if you would like to pair with another.  This means that both devices trust the other to exchange data simultaneously. This exchange is secure via encryption.  Once devices are paired, Bluetooth can now start to effectively work by using low-power radio wave technology on a frequency band of 2.4 GHz.

What is a Bluetooth beacon?

A beacon is Bluetooth technology, it’s an active RFID Technology. Bluetooth Beacons give you the actionable insights you need to make your business more effective, competitive, and profitable.

Low energy beacons transmit location data to mobile devices or dedicated gateways and forward them over Wi-Fi or mobile to a platform (middleware) that turns them into location data. Examples include situations where a system needs to be installed without disruption of business processes (i.e. healthcare), where you are using people’s existing equipment (cellphones, mobile computers) to crowdsource the location of your assets. Another case for Bluetooth low energy beacons is to provide inexpensive, easily installed pay points that a retailer’s loyalty app, on consumers' smartphones, can use to drive customer engagement.

What is 802.11b?

802.11g is a form of Wi-Fi created for transferring information via wireless networks. It operates on a 2.4 GHz bandwidth and supports data transfer rates of up to 54 Mbps.

Can 802.11b/g and Bluetooth coexist in the same environment?

Bluetooth and 802.11b/g share the same spectral band (2.4 GHz). Therefore, cross-interference will be inevitable. A reduction in throughput can result. In general, Bluetooth devices are less susceptible to coexistence problems because of the following reasons:

Bluetooth is a frequency-hopping spread spectrum (FHSS) technology, which means if a channel is busy, Bluetooth will immediately hop to a different channel to transmit the packet of information. 802.11b/g uses direct sequence spread spectrum (DSSS) technology, which has a different method to transmit signals. Shorter packets—Bluetooth packets are typically a fraction of a millisecond long compared with a few milliseconds for 802.11b/g. This reduces their collision susceptibility. Bluetooth is less considerate. An 802.11b/g station first waits for silence and only then transmits. Bluetooth, on the other hand, is inconsiderate of surrounding transmissions—it simply “barges in” whenever it has something to transmit. In summary, these technologies can coexist. Several manufacturers have developed coexistent schemes. However, if the number of Bluetooth devices is very large around a wireless network (802.11b/g), most likely the throughput of the 802.11b/g devices will be affected. Zebra QL Plus and RW series mobile printers can include both Bluetooth and 802.11b/g radios, but can’t use the two radios simultaneously.

Bluetooth has become a “must-have” feature for many enterprise mobile computer users because of the reliability, convenience, and cost savings it provides. Bluetooth is a fast, secure option for mobile printing that can be used indoors or out to support productivity-improving processes. Any operation where printer cables can tangle, break, or otherwise inconvenience the user is a candidate for improvement with Bluetooth connectivity. Zebra offers a complete range of mobile printers with flexible, configurable Bluetooth connectivity options. Contact Zebra today to learn more about how our products and expertise can help improve your route accounting operations. Zebra Technologies Corporation helps companies identify, locate and track assets, transactions, and people with on-demand specialty digital printing and automatic identification solutions. In more than 100 countries around the world, more than 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies use innovative and reliable Zebra printers, supplies, RFID products, and software to increase productivity, improve quality, lower costs, and deliver better customer service. Information about Zebra and Zebra-brand products can be found at www.zebra.com.

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