Bluetooth and Sensor Networks : A Reality Check

Martin Leopold, Philippe Bonnet

Research output: Conference Article in Proceeding or Book/Report chapterBook chapterResearchpeer-review


The current generation of sensor nodes rely on commodity components. The choice of the radio is particularly important as it impacts not only energy consumption but also software design (e.g., network self-assembly, multihop routing and in-network processing). Bluetooth is one of the most popular commodity radios for wireless devices. As a representative of the frequency hopping spread spectrum radios, it is a natural alternative to broadcast radios in the context of sensor networks. The question is whether Bluetooth can be a viable alternative in practice. In this paper, we report our experience using Bluetooth for the sensor network regime. We describe our tiny Bluetooth stack that allows TinyOS applications to run on Bluetooth-based sensor nodes, we present a multihop network assembly procedure that leverages Bluetooth's device discovery protocol, and we discuss how Bluetooth favorably impacts in-network query processing. Our results show that despite obvious limitations the Bluetooth sensor nodes we studied exhibit interesting properties, such as a good energy per bit sent ratio. This reality check underlies the limitations and some promises of Bluetooth for the sensor network regime.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBluetooth and Sensor Networks : A Reality Check
Number of pages11
Publication date2003
ISBN (Print)1581137079
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • sensys
  • bluetooth
  • sensor nodes
  • sensys2003
  • 2003
  • mac layer
  • network self-assembly
  • Platform


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