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Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) IoT Gateway Based On Android Or iOS Mobile Devices

Android Devices Or iPads As IoT Gateways

The Purpose Of IoT Gateways

You need a gateway to connect local IoT devices, such as BLE beacons or sensors to the cloud software. Some IoT devices have ability to connect to internet on their own, through wifi or cellular connection. These devices do not need an IoT gateway, they are self sufficient and can work on their own.

However, this ability make devices relatively expensive and of larger size. To make an IoT systems feasible, local IoT devices only have short range communication capabilities, such as Bluetooth low energy (BLE). This makes Io devices cost-effective and feasible to use. In this case, a gateway is needed to connect multiple IoT devices to the cloud. A single gateway can communicate with hundreds of IoT devices, get data, process the data and send to the back end cloud software.

Gateways Based On The iPads Or Android Devices

An IoT gateway is a physical device that should have at least two capabilities:

  • Be able to communicate to the local IoT devices using short range communication protocols, such as Zigbee or Bluetooth low energy (BLE).
  • Be able to communicate to a remote cloud server via wifi or cellular connection, using internet communication protocols, such as HTTP/HTTPS or MQTT/MQTTS.

It is also very beneficial if a gateway also have edge data processing capability. Edge data processing means that a gateway processes data locally, eliminates unnecessary or redundant info, batches the data and then sends data to the cloud. Edge processing reduces the load on the remote cloud server and the volume of data transmission, which in turn results in the lower connection costs.

If your local IoT devices are Bluetooth low energy (BLE) based, then Android and iOS mobile devices (iPads, iPhones, Android tablets) have all capabilities that are required for IoT gateways. Android and iOS devices have built-in Bluetooth low energy capabilities, and can connect to the internet either via wi-fi or cellular connection. The application running on the mobile device can scan for BLE devices, listen to the advertising or connect, get data, process them, and send to the back end cloud software. You can choose if you would like to use wi-fi or cellular connection - both options are available, at least on the phones.

Why Use Android Or iOS Mobile Devices As IoT Gateways For Asset Tracking

There are several reasons why you may want to choose using iPads or Android tablets or Android phones as IoT gateways:

  • Many business already have a network of iPads or Android tablets installed throughout the business for other purposes. If this is the case, you can use existing hardware, and significantly reduce the overall cost of your IoT asset tracking system.
  • If you need to track assets in the service trucks, using Android phones or tablets will be a perfect solution for you. They have cellular connection built-in, are relatively inexpensive and can have many other useful applications for the service truck operators (messaging, stock checking, POS, etc.)
  • You have an option to use either wi-fi or cellular connection.
  • It might be much easier to put Android or iOS devices on your network, and change networks if needed. The option to scan for wi-fi networks, connect, and re-connect automatically if internet connection goes down is already built-in in all these devices.
  • It is easier to update a gateway software if / when needed.
  • You can add more capabilities based on your business requirements. For example, in case of a BLE production tracking you may want to use NFC instead of BLE to avoid mix up between very close production stations.

Android / iPad Based IoT Gateway Specs

  • Can be based on iPad, Android tablet or Android phone
  • Communication protocol: Bluetooth low energy
  • Internet connection: WiFi or cellular
  • Power supply: connected to the power or battery
  • Waterproof: optional waterproof case
  • Operating temperature: 0 - 60 degrees celsius
  • Dimensions: based on device
  • Scanning range: up to 80 meters in an open space
  • Configuration: via mobile app
  • Supports BLE beacon tags in iBeacon format, temperature and humidity sensor advertising in customized Eddystone format
  • Custom programming is available to support customer's IoT devices in advertising and connection modes
  • Connect BLE gateway to our cloud software or yours
  • Custom configuration and alerts


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