Bluetooth Location Tracking Systems: Types and Use Cases

The family of Bluetooth wireless technology includes a wide range of connectivity methods. Each technology serves its purpose. For instance, BLE – Bluetooth Low Energy technology is mostly used for location tracking and movement monitoring. Introduced in 2010, this Bluetooth update has become irreplaceable in numerous industries and individual uses, mainly due to its energy conservation solutions.

Most BLE devices offer a highly efficient, low-cost alternative to classic Bluetooth. Such characteristics make BLE technology a perfect fit for analyzing and monitoring movement, giving directions, and offering navigation indoors.

Additionally, technology has gained particular popularity due to the progress in the Internet of Things (IoT). BLE plays a fundamental role in developing IoT devices that require effective short-range communication. Thus, BLE is an ideal option for managing smart technology via smartphones or other mobile devices.

Overall, its high energy efficiency, longevity, independent work properties, and simple use makes BLE the most popular location traction technology.

This article will explain the specifics of BLE technology functions and work processes, its variety, and where it is most commonly applied.

What is BLE? What is the range of BLE?

Bluetooth wireless connectivity takes various forms and designs. All these types of Bluetooth technology vary in how they connect and aren’t always compatible with each other.

Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) is of the most recent Bluetooth location tracking systems, which is known for its extended longevity unlike other common wireless technology (hence the name). Thus, BLE devices can operate for years without human interference.

Overall, BLE’s technological design lies in delivering high-speed data over short distances, making it the perfect choice for location tracking, navigation, or other connecting devices.

Yet, since BLE operates only on short ranges, it requires a network of devices to sustain the system. The effective range of BLE is around 10 meters or less. However, under ideal conditions, the signal can reach as far as 100 meters or more, assuming there are no obstacles in its way and the sending device is strong enough to produce such a signal.

Thus, the stronger the transmitting device is, the longer the range is. Also, the efficiency and sensitivity of receiving devices should also be taken into consideration.

Lastly, other wireless devices can interfere with and weaken the BLE signal. Thus, the environment plays a big role in how far the range can expand and how well the signal will be received by other devices.

What are BLE beacons? Types of beacons

To deliver strong signals and enable the network to function efficiently, BLE relies on Bluetooth beacon technology. These small devices are responsible for accurate location tracking, monitoring, navigation, and more. This technology ensures the collection of precise data and serves as a reference point for signal receivers.

Thus, beacons connect to receiving devices activating other services and functions, like messages, direction guidance, etc. The receivers can also determine the distance from a beacon, helping track the location. Such a function is possible due to a network of beacon devices at regular intervals.

Overall, Bluetooth beacons come in a variety of types, each specialized in specific purposes or areas of work.


Here are three main types of beacons:

BLE tags

BLE tags are, perhaps, the most popular, highly mobile, and easy-to-use Bluetooth beacons. They are widely used for industrial and personal purposes. These small, battery-powered devices come in various forms, shapes, and appearances, and can be easily attached to objects such as keys, luggage, vehicles, or equipment for location tracking.

All tags have special programming, enabling a unique identifier for real-time Bluetooth locating systems, depending on the specific application and the manufacturer. Though, based on use and purposes, tags can also come with different features and functions, like activation of alerts, status updates, anti-theft features, etc.

Their additional BLE sensors can also provide valuable data on temperature, humidity, air quality, motion sensors, etc. which helps assess given objects and their environment.

Wristband beacons

Wearables represent one of the largest areas of BLE beacon technology. These are often used for medical, healthcare, or wellness purposes as well as in hospitality services. Such beacons are typically worn on a wrist like a regular bracelet. These wearables can assist in tracking patients with special needs (i.e. dementia) in medical facilities.

For instance, the beacon can inform the medical staff when the patient moves toward the exit door, so the personnel can take additional safety measures. They can also be used in hotels to ensure additional security for children who navigate the property autonomously.

Such beacons are also used in large venues such as stadiums, warehouses, and theme parks. In these cases, wristband beacons can be used for tracking the movement of attendees or workers inside the facility. Thus, it can reduce the risk of accidents, enhance communication between managers and workers, and improve the coordination of crowds at large gatherings.

Any BLE device can also be equipped with special sensors to collect additional data on the surrounding environment. For example, a sensor can detect a drastic change in motion, such as detecting a sudden change of direction or falling. Such sensors can also prevent the removal of a wristband, sending a warning signal to other receivers.

Beacon card

Beacon ID cards are particularly useful and efficient in operation. These beacons are usually no bigger than regular credit cards. They are often used for locating individuals, tracking their movements, and providing secure access or other services.

On some occasions, a BLE ID card can serve as a key to access conference rooms, hospital halls, etc. Or, on the contrary, such cards can also restrict access to certain areas in a facility.

Such cards can also help businesses offer special promotions and personalized offers to customers based on their proximity or movement around the store. Thus, beacons can sense the approach of potential or known receivers and send them tailored notifications.

At the same time, beacons also vary in specification:


Apple’s proprietary beacon technology that uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to transmit signals. It broadcasts a unique identifier that can be detected by nearby devices, such as smartphones, to trigger location-based actions or notifications.


An open-source beacon format developed by Google. It also uses BLE for transmitting signals but offers more flexibility and functionality compared to iBeacon. Eddystone beacons can broadcast URLs, telemetry data, and other types of content.


An open-source and interoperable beacon format developed by Radius Networks. It is similar to iBeacon but can be used with both Android and iOS devices.

Physical Web

A Google initiative that enables beacons to broadcast URLs that can be accessed by nearby devices without requiring a mobile app. It allows users to discover and interact with web-based content based on their location.

IoT beacons

These are advanced beacons that integrate with other sensors and devices, such as temperature sensors, accelerometers, and GPS modules. They can provide more accurate and contextual location information and enable a wide range of use cases, such as asset tracking, environmental monitoring, and safety management.

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How does Bluetooth positioning work?

Bluetooth positioning, or Bluetooth location tracking, uses radio waves to locate a device. To do so, the system requires helping mechanisms, special sensors or beacons, to send out or receive those waves. The operational methods of these two devices can explain how Bluetooth positioning services work.

Here is a brief guide to both of these tools.


BLE beacons are small devices often installed in stationary positions, such as on walls or other structures. The beacons send frequent signals to other nearby devices to be detected, like any mobile gadget or special sensor. All beacons have unique identifiers that help communicate and share information. The receiving devices will then either analyze the data or send the signal to a server for further processing.

Overall, beacons provide reference points for the whole positioning system. When a device comes in contact with beacons, it determines the distance between them. Several beacons in one area can help determine the exact location of the receiving device.

Hence, they are perfect tools for providing precise indoor positioning, especially in areas where other wireless connections, like GPS signals, aren’t as efficient.


Unlike beacons, sensors take a more passive approach. Their goal is to receive waves, not send them. Hence, they are able to detect signals and assess them. For instance, they can analyze the strength of a signal to calculate the proximity to the source.

These devices may also remain immobile, thus attached to structures or buildings, or can be carried around. For example, a sensor could be attached to a piece of medical equipment, a housekeeping cart, a vehicle, etc.

Overall, sensors and beacons play complementary roles in Bluetooth positioning systems. Sensors detect Bluetooth signals and measure their strength, while beacons transmit signals that can be used as reference points for making location assessments. Only by combining the collected data, systems can deliver accurate location and tracking services.

Hence, the key to creating a working Bluetooth indoor positioning system is in placing beacons at regular intervals to maintain perfect connectivity, including the consideration of any potential obstacles in their way.

BLE benefits

Let’s see the top five reasons that make BLE an attractive option for a wide range of applications, businesses, and industries:


1. High practicality

The system’s power efficiency, extended battery life, and lower costs make it a more practical tracking option for businesses. The beacons’ batteries last longer than other similar connectivity devices, making them an effective and effortless tool.

2. Easy to use

Most BLE systems come with very easy infrastructure. They are easy to install, use, and connect, even without professional help. You simply need to install the right tracking app and place the beacons wherever you need them. When they are installed, they immediately start collecting data.

Also, there is barely any limit to the variety of devices and computers one can control and monitor the system with.

3. Fast data transmission

Usually, BLE devices are capable of transmitting data twice the speed of most wireless connections. Such speed can also enhance the accuracy of movement monitoring.

4. Flexibility

Numerous industries can apply BLE technology for their specific needs and purposes. It is often used in hospitality, healthcare, manufacturing, etc. Plus, these devices are highly versatile, which means they can be used in different businesses.

5. Compatibility

BLE is widely supported by mobile devices and computers, making it easy to connect and use across different platforms. Plus, BLE devices can usually make up to twenty connections at once.

Use cases for Bluetooth positioning

BLE technology offers numerous indoor positioning use cases. Such technology provides effective and flexible solutions across various industries.

Let’s see where BLE positioning is most in demand.


Asset tracking

Companies, hospitals, and other businesses can apply BLE technology to monitor their equipment, shipments, and other items. Thus, users can receive real-time data on their items’ location and other conditions, such as their environment or movement.

The technology works on any piece of equipment or vehicle, helping attain their status at any moment. For instance, it is a great tool for monitoring produce transit and its storing conditions.

Indoor navigation

Indoor positioning services can also help people navigate large facilities and properties, whether those are concert halls, museums, large corporation buildings, airports, etc. BLE technology will provide people with their live location and give accurate directions.

Such a function is especially helpful due to low GPS efficiency in indoor settings.

Digital key

Most mobile devices with Bluetooth can be used as digital keys these days. Such technology can communicate with locks or access control systems, providing a convenient and secure alternative to traditional keys or access cards. Such keys can have unique identifiers or provide full access to all locks in the building.

Personal item finding

Many BLE devices are well-designed for finding personal items and can be attached to things like keys, wallets, etc. The small sizes and various shapes of these devices, along with their long battery life make them highly convenient for such a purpose.

Now, people only need to open a Bluetooth location tracking app and see where the item was misplaced.

Employee and personnel tracking

Big firms, hospitals, warehouse managers, and others can also benefit from BLE tracking abilities. These devices can provide valuable data on all personnel or visitors’ movement inside the given perimeter. Hence, managers or security can easily locate any individual of interest, detect and monitor their location, analyze their patterns of movement, etc.

Such activity can help the hospitality industry learn more about their patients, and businesses to keep track of their employees’ movements. For instance, such information can help in cases of an emergency, urgent need of certain specialists, or simply for safety and security purposes.

Location services

BLE location services provide users with accurate navigation, item tracking, and other forms of interactions, including marketing and messaging. In this case, users can target customers who enter a store or move through various sections.

Companies can also enhance their operational efficiency by tracking valuable equipment or collecting and assessing movement data within their facility.

Our experience with BLE technology

Eastern Peak experts already have experience working with BLE technology. Our team has developed an application for receiving any beacon signals nearby for Wiliot. This startup has come up with a unique battery-free Bluetooth product that helps monitor and track any asset.

The Wiliot application connects to beacons around it, communicating where they are, what they represent, and other data. Using sensors, Wiliot can also collect data on the environment including movement, temperature, pressure, weight, etc. The received data is stored on the Wiliot cloud and remains private and secure.

At Eastern Peak, we made sure the application is efficient and easy to use, focusing on users’ main needs and points of interest. Thus, the collected data is analyzed and categorized for higher convenience.

Wiliot software makes a perfect addition to supply chain management, inventory storing and tracking, and product monitoring.


To conclude

Bluetooth indoor positioning and tracking technology is the future of most industries. Such technology allows businesses to reduce costs, increase productivity, and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of all operations and interactions. BLE tracking is also widely used across various industries and niches, making it a large market with lots of room for growth.

If you are considering developing your own Bluetooth location systems, be sure to find experienced professionals to help you throughout the entire journey.

Book a free consultation with the team of experts at Easter Peak to learn more about the process. May it be the beginning of fruitful cooperation!

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