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Combat dropped Bluetooth connections

11 January 2022

BAR CODE Data has unveiled Zebra’s Bluetooth Channel Masking to help users of Bluetooth devices cut out extraneous noise.

The company explains: “We all have Bluetooth devices these days and use them for all sorts of purposes, whether connecting your phone to your vehicle’s hands-free device or your smart speaker at home, or at work when you connect a mobile computer to your headset or scanner. But what many people don’t realise is that this creates electronic ‘noise’ which can destabilise device connections. While this may not be a significant issue in a domestic situation, the amount of Bluetooth devices in operation at any one time in a workplace can create serious connectivity issues.

“Imagine this: your warehouse employees are beginning their shift; they have powered up their work devices, paired them with headsets, wearable displays, their ring scanners and whatever else they require to do work their shift. You’ve installed an excellent Wi-Fi network so that all these devices can remain connected and operational but somehow your workers are not as productive as they should be as their connections repeatedly fail.”

The cause could be electronic noise.

Just like Wi-Fi networks, Bluetooth connectivity can be affected by other devices in operation in close proximity. If your working environment is surrounded by a large number of electrical devices which emit radio frequency noise, such as machinery, beacons, sensors and the like, you may experience interference with signals.

Bluetooth devices rely on a consistent and stable connection. If the connection drops, even for a second, data can be lost. Imagine you’re scanning a dozen items for picking but your connection drops halfway through and you’re completely unaware; that’s half your inventory data lost for that order and you don’t even know it. Or, for example, you’re using a wearable headset which displays your pick list in front of your eyes. Where do you go next when your connection drops and your list disappears?

It's a common yet often overlooked issue but there is a solution – Zebra’s Bluetooth Channel Masking.

Bluetooth masking can help to prevent signal issues with devices which are failing to pair or continually dropping connection. Zebra’s StageNow can be used to select and mask the correct Bluetooth channels. Other MDM or EMM solutions can also be set up to deploy masking through Zebra’s OEMConfig which is powered by Mx.

If you are using multiple devices which require Bluetooth masking, this can be achieved on any Zebra Android mobile device, including those using Bluetooth Low Energy technology.

For more information, visit www.barcodedata.co.uk