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BLE Beacons for Internet of Things Applications: Survey, Challenges, and Opportunities
While the Internet of Things (IoT) is driving a transformation of current society toward a smarter one, new challenges and opportunities have arisen to accommodate the demands of IoT development. Low power wireless devices are, undoubtedly, the most viable solution for diverse IoT use cases. Among such devices, Bluetooth low energy (BLE) beacons have emerged as one of the most promising due to the ubiquity of Bluetooth-compatible devices, such as iPhones and Android smartphones. However, for BLE beacons to continue penetrating the IoT ecosystem in a holistic manner, interdisciplinary research is needed to ensure seamless integration. This paper consolidates the information on the state-of-the-art BLE beacon, from its application and deployment cases, hardware requirements, and casing design to its software and protocol design, and it delivers a timely review of the related research challenges. In particular, the BLE beacon's cutting-edge applications, the interoperability between packet profiles, the reliability of its signal detection and distance estimation methods, the sustainability of its low energy, and its deployment constraints are discussed to identify research opportunities and directions.
Journal/Conference/Book titleIEEE Internet of Things Journal