Industrial & Medical Bluetooth Connectivity with Smartphones & Tablets

connectBlue has addressed the need for wireless mobile connectivity in industrial and medical applications since day one. Back in November 2010, we added Bluetooth iOS connectivity to selected modules. Since then, iOS and Android connectivity has become a natural component of our offering.

Smartphone and Tablets Become App Enablers

Smartphones and tablets are widely used in everyday life. By installing a tailored “app”, the everyday mobile device becomes a powerful and cost efficient tool for industrial and medical applications. For instance, an “app” can be designed to gather certain data, to perform specific tasks such as to act as an HMI panel or a remote control, etc.

Mobile Connectivity Enables New Use Cases

connectBlue customers use smartphone / tablet connectivity for new types of applications. Using a standard interface - that is also a tool commonly used for other types of connectivity situations - is ideal in industrial and medical application. Below is a selection of how some connectBlue customers have used wireless mobile connectivity.

  • Real-time Blood Bank Monitoring System: Tridentify's QTA Tracer System decreases blood waste plus increases blood availability, traceability and quality. “We chose connectBlue as we needed a robust Bluetooth low energy product for high-volume medical device solutions.”
  • Medical Apple Connectivity: connectBlue was chosen "as they had superior Apple connectivity thanks to the Bluetooth module’s ease-of-use, reliability and number of ISO certifications.” The connectBlue Bluetooth solution is found in Carré’s innovative Hexoskin solution.

Differences in Android and iOS Bluetooth Technology Implementations

Wireless technologies differ in how they are implemented in smartphones and tablets. Directly connected accessories is a use case area for Classic Bluetooth with the Serial Port Profile (SPP) and for Bluetooth low energy.

Classic Bluetooth is widely adopted and Bluetooth low energy technology is increasingly being more adopted in Android and iOS devices.

There is also an important difference in iOS mobile connectivity solutions pertaining to Bluetooth:

  • Classic Bluetooth iOS implementations require the customer to join the Apple MFi licensing program
  • Bluetooth low energy iOS implementations do not require the customer to join the Apple MFi licensing program

To develop an "app" that will connect to a Classic Bluetooth device or a Bluetooth low energy device the customer will have to join the Apple iOS Developer Program.

If a connectBlue customer wants an iOS implementation without joining the Apple MFi licensing program, the customer may choose a connectBlue low energy solution over a Classic Bluetooth solution. Bluetooth low energy can be used for streaming data applications; however, one has to keep in mind that - in many applications - throughput will be less and no power savings will be achieved. Bluetooth low energy's sweet spot - and what it is designed for - is the application that uses episodic or periodic transfer of small amounts of data.

Overview of connectBlue Android and iOS Module Support

Classic Bluetooth technology:

 

Android support

iOS
support
on board*

iOS
support
via I2C*

iOS
support
via host*

Bluetooth Serial Port Module OBS418

Yes

-

-

-

Bluetooth Serial Port Module OBS419

Yes

-

-

Yes

Bluetooth Serial Port Module OBS421

Yes

-

-

Yes

* PAN / PAN-NAP support for iOS is device dependent

 

Bluetooth low energy technology:

Android support

iOS
support


Bluetooth Serial Port Module OBS421

Yes

Yes

Bluetooth Low Energy Platform Module OLP425

Yes

Yes

Bluetooth Low Energy Serial Port Module OLS425/OLS426

Yes

Yes