With the debut of the Apple Watch, new advancement on smart homes and cars, and the emerging Internet of Things (IoT) to tie everything together, 2015 will prove to be a very exciting year for apps. Many of the newest apps are predicted to take advantage of recent advances in Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). Bluetooth Low Energy is wireless personal area network technology that is available on most mobile smart phones and provides considerably reduced power consumption as compared to classic Bluetooth. At Slide, we’ll be using a phone’s BLE┬áto help people connect quickly with others in close proximity (up to 200 feet). Below are the top 5 reasons why we believe this is the year for BLE-enabled apps.

 

  1. Wearables: Smart watches require a phone with which to interact, and the line of communication between watch and phone is made primarily via Bluetooth. For Slide, the wearable market helps ensure that users have their Bluetooth on so that we can help them quickly share photos with each other

 

  1. Accuracy: Most social discovery apps currently use the Global Positioning System (GPS). This satellite-based navigation system is great for finding people in the same city or block, but not as good at finding people in the same room or building. Bluetooth, on the other hand, is incredibly accurate over short distances.

 

  1. Battery life: We now have an app for just about everything we do, and each one of those apps eats away at our phone’s battery life. Bluetooth Low Energy uses a fraction of the power of GPS, allowing Bluetooth-enabled apps to run in the background without draining your battery.

 

  1. Retail: iBeacons are small devices that emit a Bluetooth Low Energy signal to enabled apps within a 200-foot range. iBeacons can be used to transmit deals to customers while they are in a store, which will increase interaction between brick and mortar retailers and their customers and bring some much-needed innovation to the retail market.

 

  1. Internet of Things (IoT): Google’s $3 billion acquisition of Nest showed us that there is real value in a connected home, and with Apple’s new integration, HomeKit, we’ll soon see a flood of amazing products coming from their massive community of developers. Bluetooth’s 200-foot range is more than enough to interact with the world around us. When matched with cloud services, we’ll have tons of data that can be used to help apps learn about their users and create custom tailored experiences.

 

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