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Bluetooth Low Energy for data streaming: Application-level analysis and recommendation

Wearable devices enable the unobtrusive sensing of a wide range of human activities and the development of innovative applications. Wireless communication capabilities are one of the crucial features of networked wearable devices, since they set data exchange specifications and heavily affect the power consumption of the devices. In this paper, we investigate the use of the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) standard for the development of wearable devices with elevated data throughput requirements such as Health-related applications.

In particular, we focus on the application-level and analyze the performance of different BLE modules when interfaced with a smartphone in single- and multi-slave configurations. Data throughput and power consumption are evaluated in relation to the parameters of the protocol and we present to the reader useful guidelines for an optimal integration of BLE in devices with data streaming capabilities.