Short paper: experimental study of long-term operation of BLE tags for realizing indoor location based service

Recently, indoor location-based services (LBS) have become attractive with the rapid development of indoor location estimation and with the spread of smartphones. An estimation technique using Bluetooth low energy (BLE) tags becomes most attractive and promising among other techniques for estimating location because a majority of smartphones supports BLE. The BLE tags transmit advertisement (ADV) packets periodically, which include a unique ID related to each tag. When a smartphone receives the ADV packet, the smartphone sends a query to the server to retrieve the locationbased information for the ID.

To provide such a service continuously, operators have to monitor whether BLE tags work well and repair them in the event of a problem. These operations are difficult because they require physical labor that cannot be automated for a large number of BLE tags spread over a wide area. Therefore, we evaluated the operations of BLE tags quantitatively by the metric of operational costs. We established an environment composed of 54 BLE tags in a four-story building and measured the lifetime of the battery, the service availability ratio, and the operational costs. Through the experiments, we obtained various results regarding the battery management of the BLE tags and the effectiveness of redundant deployment.

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