Workshop: Bluetooth Low Energy & BLE Beacons for Active RFID Applications

Mark Jakusovszky and Jim Springer
EM Microelectronic
Date: Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Time: 1pm – 4:30pm

The RFID Industry has been looking for longer range and more readily connectable protocols since its inception. In the past year or so, some have promoted Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE, aka Bluetooth SMART) and BLE beacons as an answer to this search. However, there are a LOT of miscommunications and misconceptions about BLE in the market; What it is, how it can and cannot be used, it’s benefits and drawback, etc.

This workshop introduces BLE from a fairly high technical level and goes on to discuss BLE Beacons and how they are (and more importantly, how they COULD) be used to solve typical RFID application problems. This workshop would be interesting and valuable to anyone looking for an active RFID solution, and especially those that want to leverage adoption of the smartphone as a “reader” connected to the “cloud”.


  • Introductions
  • Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Introduction
  • Bluetooth Beacons Introduction
  • BLE Demonstration
  • Beacon Demonstration
  • Energy Harvesting for BLE Products
  • BLE as Active RFID
  • BLE Application Development Demonstration
  • Q&A, Summary

About the Presenters

MJMark Jakusovszky has invested 30 years defining, developing and marketing advanced mixed-signal and low power wireless semiconductor solutions for companies like EM, Atmel, National Semiconductor, MicroLinear and Aeroflex. In his current role at EM Micro, he is enabling and evangelizing ultra-low power and energy harvested wireless sensor solutions through EM’s Bluetooth Low Energy, 2.4GHz digital wireless, NFC and RFID products. Mark holds an MSEE from Santa Clara University and a BSEE from Rensselaer.

JSJim Springer is a systems engineer at EM Microelectronic, a Swiss based semiconductor company and subsidiary of the Swatch Group. He has more than 35 years experience in sensor sytems with 10+ years in RFID. His activities include the definition and development of new integrated circuits for advanced RFID tags used in sensor, display, and security applications. Jim is a long time contributor and active participant in the RFID standards community and is the current chair of RFID for Item Management in the US Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 31, Automatic Identification and Data Capture Techniques. He has served as co-chair for the EPCglobal Harware Active Tagging workgroup, co-project editor for ISO/IEC 24753 (RFID application protocol for sensor and battery tags), project editor for ISO/IEC 18000-61 and ISO/IEC 18000-64 (passive UHD RFID air interface protocols), and project editor for ISO/IEC 29167-13 (RFID security services using Grain-128A).