Everything you need to know about tracking your assets with BLE - Bluetooth Low Energy

Bluetooth tracking with BLE beacons and BLE tags

| May 2023 |.

BLE is a wireless solution that combines location accuracy, effective battery usage and cost optimization. BLE devices are typically used for data transmission over short distances and are ideal for locating and tracking assets.

BLE devices, i.e., beacons (also called gateways or beacons) and tags (sensors), have several advantages over traditional GPS-based asset trackers, as long as you know how to deploy them for the good of your business.

Therefore, although they are similar in functionality and therefore often referred to as one and the same, you would do well to know that BLE beacons and BLE tags have different applications, especially if you cherish the idea of introducing them into your business.

Simply put, BLE gateways are ideal for stationary assets and are excellent for indoor tracking, while BLE sensors are the best solution for tracking smaller movable enterprise assets that do not require constant location tracking.

Examples of applications for BLE beacons and BLE tags

Case studies for BLE beacons and BLE tags.

ℹ️ If you're not quite sure how the technology works, be sure to take a look at the FAQ section on our website!

1 | BLE beacons are for stationary assets

BLE technology works by transmitting an outgoing signal through a BLE device that is then received by another device acting as a beacon. This could be a cell phone with an app, a telemetry device or a BLE beacon built as a receiver. You could compare BLE technology to lighthouses, which signal sailors that they are near shore.

How do beacons work?

Beacons are both figuratively and literally passive. They are made to be permanently mounted on a specifically placed stationary surface. They do not transmit information but do reveal their ID, which is why they are most commonly used for indoor navigation.

Everyone knows that a GPS signal gets weaker as you go into a building. And the larger the building, the more concrete was used, or the deeper you go into the basement, the less or no signal is available to you. The reality is that location monitoring is also needed indoors today, as it helps larger warehouses, operations centers and even airports operate more efficiently. That's what BLE beacons can be used for.

For best possible results, place multiple beacons in a room in a way that provides the most coverage of that room. In practice, these beacons work well side by side, and each signal recorded shows the real-time indoor position.

BLE indoor localization of enterprise assets using BLE beacons

Because beacons are meant to be stationary (immobile), they are generally built to be less durable than tags. And they have an unobtrusive design because you don't necessarily want them to attract attention.

Case examples for the use of BLE beacons

* Real-time tracking of guards as they complete checkpoints in a building.

* Monitoring cleaners and sanitation staff in large and crowded facilities such as airports or shopping malls.

* Automated check-ins of vehicles returning to the base stand after a day on the road.

* Vending machines. Rental vending machines are likely to stay at a specific destination for a while. Keep track of how long the item has been on location, whether it is still there, and whether the maintenance crew has stopped by.

2 | BLE tags for tracking moveable goods

Like beacons, BLE tags are devices that continuously emit unique signals that can be picked up by Bluetooth devices. But to get information from them, you always need another device to receive and record this data: a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet, or a platform connection from a telemetry device that can interpret the signal. An active Internet connection is a must here!

How do BLE tags work?

Tags are used for active or movable business assets. Therefore, they are built to be more durable and conspicuous, can detect temperature and humidity, and usually contain more information, such as a name or characteristics of a business asset.

And while similar in functionality to beacons, tags offer a different applicability. The information collected is not that a person has entered a particular range, but rather that the BLE device is within the range of a receiving BLE device. Consequently, the main difference here is the inference: identifying the location of a corporate asset, rather than that of the person.

Remember, a recipient can be any device within the network, not just you searching the parking lot with your phone looking for your keys.

Case studies for BLE tags
Construction equipment.

Construction projects take time, and many tools accumulate on site during the process. Sometimes multiple projects are underway in different locations, and tools need to be transferred from one place to another. BLE tags can help track these tools to their location and ensure that nothing gets lost, as well as help you keep an overview of the current usage status.


Fields need care and attention. Today, there are many tools, machines and attachments that help in digging, cultivating, spraying, cutting, tilling or, in other words, taking care of fields. It is then not always easy to see the forest for the trees in terms of the location of all these work tools. BLE tags offer a quick solution as they inform you of the latest user and location.

Emergency services.

From defibrillators and stretchers to axes, fire hoses, stairs and more. Paramedics and fire crews have many tools and equipment they use every day that can be left behind in a rush to save someone's life. At the end of the day, however, each item can be easily tracked with tags that have long battery life and require little or no maintenance.

Compared to traditional GPS tracking units, energy-efficient Bluetooth tags are much smaller and very easy to use. In most cases, you simply need to stick them on an asset, make sure you're equipped with a receiver and you're done. No specific skills or qualified technicians required!

BLE asset tracking with All-Connects

The FLEET.connect enterprise application for vehicle, equipment and fleet management from All-Connects offers several types of asset tracking solutions, including BLE. Signals from a BLE device can be picked up by a nearby telemetry device and the information sent to the online user application. In addition, managers can also receive notifications and view detailed BLE device information through the FLEET.connect mobile app.

The accuracy of the location of the BLE tag, as displayed in the management application, depends mainly on its frequency, sensitivity and range. Once a telemetry device comes within range of the respective BLE tag, a location is determined.

The solution offers easy, straightforward installation, user-friendly overview and management capabilities, as well as a report that will summarize all the most essential information during the selected period.

A report generated through BLE beacons on the FLEET.connect management platform
Optimal location management of tools at different job sites thanks to BLE technology

Ask for expert help

And voila! That's in a nutshell the BLE technology of BLE gateways and BLE tags explained. If you want to know more about BLE solutions and material tracking capabilities, make an appointment with our experts as soon as possible! Then contact us directly by phone 03 289 55 35 or click here for more information.

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