Bluetooth distance streaming limitations

Hey folks, I know that in theory the BLE spec has a theoretical max range of 100m (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bluetooth_Low_Energy) and that @Laura has said that the range is 30m (https://mbientlab.com/community/discussion/comment/10319#Comment_10319).

I've also heard that others are experiencing issues when the space is crowded with other signals (to which @Laura says "Yup, that's to be expected. Tough."), so I'm interested not in the theoretical max but the practical reality. Here's my application, for which I'm trying to decide BT (BLE) vs. RF vs. wifi:

  • MMR+ mounted to a moving component, constrained to a cylinder about 10' in diameter and 2' tall.
  • Euler Angle data streaming to mac mini (with appropriate receiver), 10m-15m away
  • Possibility of up to 100 people in the space around the cylinder, effectively between the transmitter and the receiver, likely all with cellphones with BT on

I may be able to compromise on streaming speed if that's configurable, if it will increase robustness.

Thanks for any thoughts you have before I decide to purchase an MMR+. Right now, it would be a really nice solution but I'm hesitating because of this issue.

Comments

  • edited November 9

    It will be tough for anyone to comment since everyone has such a unique application and settings. It could be a home for the elderly, a pasture field with cows, a convention with 1K people, an airport, a home in SF with lots of crowded wifi signals. All these different places will have a unique effect on the Bluetooth signal.

    I have been to a convention where the BLE range was 2 feet it was so crowded.
    I have also been to sports event where the BLE range can be up to 200m (where the dedicated high performance BLE antenna was above the players court).

    Remember, in space, Bluetooth would travel 100000000000000000000000000000m and more...but this is not a vacuum...

    There's interference, bodies, other signals... Practical versus theoretical here is resolved best by experimentation.

    Get an MMR+, try it out for yourself. You just need 1 to start, you don't have to commit and buy 100 MMR+.
    Experiment, see if it works for you.

    Also, the MMR+ is one thing but the receiver's antenna is another. Something to think about. You can get much better signal strength from a Linux computer with a dedicated BLE antenna than an Android phone for example (which has a tiny antenna it has to share between wifi and all other ble devices).

  • Thanks. I'm only buying 1 not 100, for the final application. I've decided to go with another solution.

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