WiFi? Cellular? Bluetooth? We Explain the Difference.
In today's digital world, nearly everyone is connected to one another somehow using wireless network technology. However, do we really know the difference between the terms WiFi, cellular, and bluetooth? Broadly speaking cellular technology is used for long-range (ie, nationwide) communications and data transfer whereas WiFi is used for mid-range applications and Bluetooth is used for very close-range settings. Although NIGHTWATCH® has all 3 technologies on-board to alert you at the first signs of danger or distress in your horse, we rely on cellular and WiFi networks for practical reasons since you cannot always be within sight distance of your horse to use bluetooth technology.
WiFi: In the simplest terms, WiFi is a technology that allows devices—smartphones, computers, tablets, and more—to connect to the internet without any wires. WiFi uses radio waves to transmit data from your computer to the internet (or vice versa), and it also allows handheld devices to interact with each other when both connected to the same WiFi network. One of the most common questions we hear about NIGHTWATCH® is: Do I need WiFi in my barn for the halter to work? Although your NIGHTWATCH® device has the ability to connect and transmit data over both WiFi and cellular (3G) networks, you do not need WiFi in your barn for NIGHTWATCH® to work. However, you will need to periodically connect your device to a local WiFi network while charging for firmware updates; the same process you likely do for your smart phone.
Cellular technology: True to its name, cellular technology is the main type of wireless network connectivity found in your cell phone. In this type of technology, data is transmitted through radio waves to a global network of transmitters and receivers, like a cell tower. Unlike WiFi, which uses one central hub and limited on distance, cellular technology is unique because it allows you to transmit data all over the country and world. For example, you can connect your smartphone to your personal WiFi network in your home, but if you travel too far from that particular network, your phone's cellular technology kicks in and transmits your data using cell towers as you move around. So what does this all mean? This means you can have peace of mind knowing NIGHTWATCH® can still alert you of danger or distress in your horse regardless of whether they are alone in their stall overnight or out in a large pasture during the day.
Worried about your horse being exposed to radiation from cellular technology? Don't be! The safety of your horse is our highest priority. NIGHTWATCH® is considered a wireless device and requires regulatory testing and certification. NIGHTWATCH® complies with the limits for a Class B digital device, pursuant to Part 15 of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules, and further ensures compliance with Industry Canada (IC) license-exempt RSS standards, PTCRB/CTIA certification standards, and IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) 60950 product safety standards
Bluetooth: Like WiFi and cell technology, bluetooth also uses radio waves—however, instead of connecting to the internet or a larger network of receivers, bluetooth allows devices to "talk" to each other over much shorter distances (often <25 feet), although some transmitters can send communications up to 100 feet. Have you ever connected your phone to your car to play music or talk to someone using the car speakers? That's bluetooth in action—no internet connectivity is needed, but your devices are still communicating with each other.