Tutorial: BLE as BYOD Active RFID

Traditional active RFID deployments have typically involved tags and readers made by (or for) a single vendor, resulting in tight control over the system. With the widespread commercial  adoption of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), today it is common to detect everything from consumer products such as smartphones, wearables and smart home electronics, to commercial and industrial products, which actively identify themselves using standardized advertising packets. Moreover, there are plenty of off-the-shelf devices capable of acting as readers, from purpose-built devices to generic single-board-computers to the smartphone in your pocket.


  • How devices are identified? (48-bit address, 16 and 128-bit UUIDs, company codes, …)
  • What does the BLE specification allow manufacturers to transmit?
  • What about privacy? (cycling addresses, …)
  • What about security? (payload protection, cloning/spoofing …)
  • “Exciting” devices with the DISCOVER-SCAN functionality of BLE.
  • What best practices have emerged from self-policing?
  • What poor practices and serious gaffes have we observed?
  • Is it possible to build a real-time location system for unknown devices?
  • What tools are available? (sniffypedia.org, advlib, noble, RamBLE …)

Speaker Biography


Jeffrey is a computer engineer who has built real-time location systems (RTLS) from the ground up in the 2000s at Purelink Technologies, and then built connected, location-aware cameras at Koozoo before the IoT hype bubble.  He co-founded Montreal-based reelyActive in 2012 with a vision to create a simple, accessible, cloud-based active RFID platform.  The proliferation of Bluetooth Low Energy devices has morphed that vision into a bring-your-own-device RTLS enabling ubiquitous machine-contextual-awareness.  An outspoken advocate for BLE as a global active RFID standard, you’ll know when he’s nearby if you have the Physical Web enabled on your mobile phone.


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IEEE RFID Mega Challenge

Finalists of the 2017 IEEE RFID Mega Challenge on Smart Cities have been announced
The 2017 challenge will be focused on the use of RFID in a Smart Cities solution. .
The top 4 finalists of the competition are eligible for the Student Travel Grant
DEADLINE: January 31, 2017

Important Dates

  • Paper submissions due:
    January 18, 2017
  • Workshop proposals due:
    January 27, 2017
  • Mega Challenge submissions due:
    January 31, 2017
  • Paper notifications of acceptance:
    February 27, 2017
  • Poster submissions due:
    March 8, 2017
  • Poster notifications of acceptance:
    March 16, 2017
  • Paper publication-ready versions due:
    March 20, 2017
  • Poster publication-ready versions due:
    March 23, 2017
  • Conference:
    May 9-11, 2017 at Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona, USA