A deep dive into Bluetooth technology, standardisation and applications

Thursday 28 March 2024, 12h00-19h00
@ imec, Leuven

In this workshop we will address technology innovations that have been (and will be) adopted in the latest versions of the Bluetooth standards, such as LE Audio, mesh networking, low-power features, angle-of-arrival and high-accuracy distance measurement.

Speakers from industry will zoom in on the possibilities and challenges that Bluetooth innovations offer for their applications in e.g. audio streaming and distribution, healthcare applications, animal tracking, railway systems, etc

The workshop includes presentations and (live) demos, brought by experts from academia and industry. Topics include a.o.

  • a general overview of the current and emerging Bluetooth standards
  • the latest technology innovations for LE audio
  • high-accuracy positioning
  • applications of Bluetooth technology (in products of local companies)


12h00 Registration & sandwich lunch
13h00 Introduction
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Kris Hermus, Coordinator Wireless Community & Innovation Program Manager Flanders, imec
13h20 The making of current and emerging Bluetooth standards
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Sam Geeraerts, System architect, NXP Semiconductors
  • intro on Bluetooth SIG, the creation, its structure and operation
  • the architecture of Bluetooth low energy (4.0), link layer and application aspects
  • enhancements added to BLE (a selection of the key additional features)
  • upcoming features in emerging standards
13h50 Audio in the air: a tutorial on LE Audio
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Jeroen Hoebeke, Professor, imec-IDLab-UGent

Wireless audio streaming is omnipresent. Due to the ubiquity of Bluetooth (BT) chips in audio-capable devices sold today, the wireless audio streaming solutions provided by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group are widely used to realize such use cases. The most recent addition to its standards portfolio is Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) Audio. LE Audio focuses more on power efficiency than the classic version of Bluetooth. It also introduces new wireless audio streaming features and seeks to provide better audio quality than standard Bluetooth.

14h10 Creative design of BLE for challenging applications
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Sarah Goossens, PhD researcher, KU Leuven – ESAT-WaveCore

This presentation introduces the design of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology for two challenging applications. Firstly, we present a low-power, wirelessly synchronized multi-IMU platform developed to aid in physiotherapy treatment, enabling remote monitoring of exercises. This wireless functionality not only enhances patient comfort during movements but also ensures ease of use. In the second application we track the continuous movement of plant leaves. Tracking plant movements presents a unique way of assessing their physiological condition and detects stress. We introduce a tailored design featuring a lightweight wireless sensor system utilizing both LoRa and BLE communication, simplifying the collection of this movement data.

14h25 Localization with LE Audio: RF-based or audio-based?
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Jowan Pittevils, Bluetooth wireless systems engineer, Cochlear
Mike Vantorre, R&D Engineer, Televic Conference

We present 2 different methodologies that can be used for the calculation of relative angles and locations between transmitters and receivers.

We first give a quick introduction into BLE direction finding, its strengths and weaknesses and some tips on how it can be implemented.

After RF-based localization techniques, we present a localization method using acoustic signals. This technique will be described by showcasing an industrially relevant problem: the automatic extraction of a synoptic view for conference rooms.

14h40 Optimizing your wireless audio system
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Nilesh Madhu, Professor, imec-IDLab-UGent
Stijn Kindt, PhD researcher, imec-IDLab-UGent

We present investigations on the use of the LC3plus codec for practical, distributed audio processing. Three specific applications will be considered: (1) post-processing the received signal to remove artefacts due to lossy coding, (2) source localisation using the lossily encoded signals from distributed arrays, and (3) blind source extraction in ad hoc array scenarios, where both source and microphone positions are unknown. We demonstrate solutions for each of these cases by leveraging a combination of deep learning and statistical signal processing. For coded signal recovery, this results in significant quality improvement. For source localisation, surprisingly, including the codec in the training of the localisation network yields results that are better than using the unencoded signals. Lastly, applied to ad hoc arrays, we present a novel, general, framework based on clustering microphones around individual sources. The clustering approaches are robust to codec-induced signal distortions — thus opening opportunities for exploiting the full potential for ad hoc wireless acoustic networks.

  • Demo 1 – KU Leuven: a BLE-connected plant-sensor and a multi-sensor solution for supporting physio-therapeutic treatment
  • Demo 2 – IoSA: the internet-of-small-animals – Bluetooth-enabled animal behavior monitoring
  • Demo 3 – Cochlear and imec-IDLab-UGent: audio streaming with Broadcast Isochronous Group (BIG)
  • Demo 4 – Televic Conference: a language distribution system with LE audio
  • Demo 5 – imec-IDLab-UGent: Bluetooth localisation for speech enhancement
  • Demo 6 – NXP Semiconductors: multi-channel sound over BLE
  • Demo 7 – imec-NL @ Holst Centre: high-accuracy distance measurement / channel sounding with Bluetooth
16h20 Beyond connectivity: BLE’s impact on animal tracking and passenger localization
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Ruben Nietvelt, PhD researcher, imec-IDLab-UAntwerp

Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology has emerged as a versatile protocol for addressing diverse challenges in modern society. In this presentation, we delve into two compelling use cases that exemplify the potential of BLE applications.
Firstly, we explore the efforts of IoSA (Internet of Small Animals), a spin-off company of the University of Antwerp and imec, leveraging BLE technology to track and monitor small animals.
Secondly, we delve into ongoing research focused on enhancing train travel experiences through BLE-based localization. This research not only promises to increase the efficiency in public transportation, but also opens up avenues for higher revenue.

16h35 LE Audio performance under varying wireless link conditions
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Mathias Baert, PhD researcher, imec-IDLab-UGent

Wireless Bluetooth audio communication has become an inherent part of everyday life, from listening to a podcast on our headphones to streaming music on multiple speakers. The concept of broadcasting audio using Bluetooth has been standardized as Auracast. It enables a variety of use cases, both for personal use as well as in public venues: flight-specific broadcast information in an airport, assistive listening systems in an auditorium or theater, music streaming to an infinite number of speakers, etc. To cope with the unpredictability of wireless media, several configurable parameters are provided to an Auracast system, to optimize the listening experience of an audio receiver that is subjected to volatile environmental conditions. Cochlear and imec-IDLab-UGent have collaborated to set up a benchmarking platform that is able to provide insights into the listening experience at an audio receiver, both via a simulation model as well as a testbed containing Bluetooth-capable hardware. The results from the model are shown to mimic the observed behavior in the testbed and valuable insights can be gained regarding the impact of a specific configuration of the Auracast system on the listening experience, under varying wireless link conditions.

16h50 A wireless language distribution system
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Wim Sandra, Director R&D and product management, Televic Conference
Jorgen Van Parys, Senior system engineer, Qorvo

We discuss latency with Bluetooth® LE Audio as last hop in a wireless language distribution system.

17h05 Sustainable and reliable BLE, with applications in healthcare and in air quality monitoring
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Hazem Sallouha, FWO Postdoctoral Fellow, KU Leuven – ESAT
  • batteryless BLE nodes with energy buffering
  • analysis of duty-cycling for the BLE nodes to maintain its operation
  • scalability aspects of BLE mesh networking
  • method for QoS in BLE mesh networks
17h20 Plenary Q&A session
17h30 Networking reception
19h00 End of the workshop



  • Imec employees and residents: free of charge
  • Employees of Wireless Community members: free of charge
  • Others:
    • 80 EUR (excl VAT) early bird until March 21
    • 100 EUR (excl VAT) late registration from March 22

Please fill in your details in this Event Registration Form below and you will be automatically registered.
A few days prior to the event you will receive a confirmation email with all practical details.

Please contact us at wireless-community@imec.be for any question or remark.