Zebra – How to Mask Bluetooth Channels
15th November, 2021

Your work force is equipped and ready to go. They have their portable computers/tablets powered up and paired with ring scanners, headsets, head-mounted displays, and all the other necessary tools they need to get moving, and you have strengthened up the Wi-Fi network so they can stay connected but, somehow, their productivity is still not as efficient as it could be, why is that?

If I had to guess, I would say the noise in your factory, warehouse, distribution centre or store is more disruptive than you might have realised. I’m not just talking about ambient noise, either.

Like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth connections are very susceptible to electrically noisy environments, such as manufacturing, warehousing, retail, logistics, healthcare to name a few. What we do hear from industry leaders is how common signal interference is but, what we don’t hear are the concerns regarding wireless reliability in the context of Bluetooth connectivity. Today that changes.

Zebra know that if one of your worker’s Bluetooth-paired devices disconnects for even a few seconds, barcode data captured via the ring scanner might not make it to the host mobile computer and into your inventory management system. Or a picker using an augmented reality app on the head-mounted display may not receive vital instructions on where to go or what to grab next. So, we’ve found a way for you to disable specific Bluetooth communication channels that are more susceptible to noise and interference so you can increase Bluetooth connection stability, data throughput and overall performance.

It’s called Bluetooth Channel Masking, provide below is a brief overview to answer some of your potential questions:

1.  What specific signal challenges can Bluetooth Channel Masking help with?

If you have devices that are failing to pair, audio hiccups, and recurring dropped connections, Bluetooth Channel Masking should be applied. If the problem persists after you have properly configured this capability, I would recommend that you consult with your technical support staff to diagnose and correct the issue.

2. How can I configure the Bluetooth channel I would like to mask?

Zebra offers StageNow, which can be utilised to provision the Bluetooth channel that requires masking. Your mobile device management (MDM) or enterprise mobility management (EMM) solution can also be used to deploy the Bluetooth channel mask using Zebra’s OEMConfig powered by Mx.

3. Does Bluetooth Channel Masking work with all mobile Zebra devices?

Bluetooth Channel Masking is available and configurable on Zebra Android mobile devices and can be used with a Bluetooth device that is paired and connected to a Zebra Android mobile device using Bluetooth Low Energy technology. 

So, I hope you’ve found this Bluetooth Channel Masking guide useful, and I am positive your workers will appreciate you applying this simple change to their Android devices.