Technology


BlueRange Components


BlueRange combines extremes: High performance — Low costs

The BlueRange protocol provides high data throughput with low energy costs and runs on cost-efficient hardware. This technological challenge in the field of beacon management has been solved by us for the first time. Our functional scatternet protocol that forms the basis of this performance is unique world-wide.

BlueRange Platform

The Platform

Our BlueRange platform is a Java enterprise-based stack with all the included advantages such as exchanging, removing and adding components during runtime (hot deployment / hot plugging). The platform is available as SaaS and in specific cases as on-premise solution.

    • Functions
      Enrollment MeshGateway

      Enrollment SmartBeacons (automatically)

      Meshing (automatically)

      Enrollment external / asset Beacons

      Mesh-Management / CMS

      Multitenancy

      Use Case Management / Campaign Management

      Multiple APIs (MQTT, REST, etc.)

      SDK (iOS and Android)
BlueRange Firmware

The Firmware

The BlueRange firmware is distinguished by its modular structure with persistent module configurations.

Mesh connections are encrypted via AES-128 and use standard BLE connections.

BlueRange is ready to work with Bluetooth 5.0 devices. However, an extended connection range or enhanced data rate is only supported on request for now.

    • Mentionable Modules
      'Advertising-Module' for custom broadcast messages

      'Status-Reporter-Module' for monitoring the nodes

      'Scanning-Module' to filter incoming advertisement messages

      UART terminal to execute commands with a list of arguments

      Debug Logger with log tag filtering

      Functions
      Auto-Detect Enrollment for SmartBeacons

      Auto-Networking building the BLE Mesh

      Over-The-Air Updates (OTA)

      Device Monitoring

      Sensor Data Monitoring

      Asset Tracking - of Beacons with Asset Firmware
BlueRange Mesh

The BLE Mesh Protocol

Our BlueRange mesh is based on Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), which is backward compatible with all Bluetooth 4.0 clients like Smartphones.
Our mesh enables low battery consumption while being connected to the internet the whole time. This is not possible with other mesh technologies that are based on a so called flooding-mesh.

FruityMesh is our open source offering for anybody wanting to experiment with our meshing algorithm. It is an implementation for the Nordic nRF51 and nRF52 chipsets that are both Bluetooth 4.1 compliant, with the nRF52 also offering Bluetooth 5.0 capabilities. Porting to other chipsets is in progress.

The BlueRange algorithm employs a custom scatternet-forming algorithm that uses a ClusterScore function to be able to form a mesh depending on a number of parameters such as connection quality, number of connections, hops, etc. The network is self-forming and self-healing. Once a connection in the cluster breaks down, the smaller cluster distributes a new cluster id among its nodes. This will ultimately repair the missing connection through a similar path.

Messages within this network are typically broadcasted to all nodes, with each node able to pick up the information that it is interested in. It is also possible to route to the sink node - the node that has an interest in all mesh-related messages.

Having a Scatternet allows us to have a mesh that can live on battery power for multiple years, depending on the use-case. With the lowest connection interval for example, each node can use as little energy as 50 µA.

    • Implementation
      FruityMesh (OpenSource GPL), BlueRange (Commercial GPL)
      Maximum Distance
      recommended distance between beacons: 15m. (Depending on the building and the wall thickness/material, this can be less.)
      Connection
      Scatternet Mesh
      Data throughput
      ~ 4 kbyte/s, depending on the number of connections
BlueRange SmartBeacon

SmartBeacons and Beacons

Bluerange SmartBeacons are different from standard beacons as they will automatically connect to each other, forming a mesh.
This Mesh in conjunction with a MeshGateway allows us to monitor and configure our SmartBeacons and update the firmware over the mesh, directly from our cloud platform.

Our SmartBeacons function with a nordic nRF51/nRF52 chipset combined with the S130/S132 soft device. Its automatic meshing abilities have proven to effortlessly connect a multitude of devices.

    • Radio standard
      Bluetooth Low Energy 4.1 Compliant
      Power supply
      4 AA batteries, AC power supply or DC battery pack
      Dimensions
      110 x 70 x 25 mm
      Weight
      120 g (without batteries)
      Advertising Message Formats
      iBeacon, Eddystone-UID, -URL, -TLM, Relution Tag Messages
      Compatibility
      iOS 8 or higher, Android 4.3 or higher
      Battery Life
      From ~ 3 months in continuous transmission to ~ 4 years in Advertising Messaging Scenario (100ms) up to 5+ years by only monitoring
      Certification
      CE, RoHS, FCC
      Onboard sensors
      On request: BME280: humidity, temperature, pressure
      Peripheral connectors
      Power (Mini USB, cable clamps), Camera, I/O ports on request
BlueRange Mesh Gateway

The Mesh Gateway

The MeshGateway runs on a Raspberry Pi 3 with our custom SmartBeacon Shield. The SmartBeacon interfaces our mesh with the Raspberry Pi, and therefore allows us to connect our mesh to the internet. The MeshGateway firmware is remotely updatable through our Cloud Platform. It can update the firmware of all Beacons connected to its mesh, which allows monitoring, management and more.

    • Power supply
      240V AC power supply needed
      CPU
      Quad Core 1,2 GHz-Broadcom BCM2837 64-bit
      RAM
      1 GB
      Internet Connection
      100 Mbit/s Ethernet connection
      USB-Type
      USB 2.0
      Card Port
      microSD
Bluetooth

The next bluetooth.

With the release of Bluetooth 5.0 in summer 2017, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) implemented flooding mesh into the bluetooth protocols. We focus on keeping BlueRange ahead of current developments of Bluetooth in its meshing abilities, and thus developed the first scatternet mesh implementation for higher possible data throughput by lower power consumption, enabling battery powered use cases. At the moment, BlueRange offers backward compatible meshing for older Bluetooth versions and devices.

    • Range BLE
      Up to 200m - 4 times Bluetooth 4.2 standard
      Data Rate BLE
      2 MBit/s - 2 times Bluetooth 4.2 standard
      Connection Capacity
      Multiple devices at the same time
      Compatibility
      Backward compatible to older versions
      Mesh
      Mesh compatible, Flooding possible