September 18, 2023

Bluetooth Beacons Compared, Part 2: Activation and Association

Reelables All-in-One Labels

Reelables Bluetooth Labels
Traditional Bluetooth Beacons

Activation and association are fundamental aspects of using smart devices like Bluetooth beacons, especially when it comes to asset tracking and inventory management. In this section, we’ll explore the activation methods commonly used for Bluetooth beacons and how the Reelables Bluetooth beacon streamlines the process, reducing the risk of operational errors.

Common Activation Methods

Bluetooth beacons, like many smart devices, offer various activation methods. These methods are used to power up the device and prepare it for tracking:

  1. Press Button: Some Bluetooth beacons require a manual action, such as pressing a button, to activate them. This method can be straightforward but may not be suitable for high-volume applications where automation is essential.

2. Rip, Tear, or Cut: In some cases, Bluetooth beacons are activated by physically damaging or altering the device. While this method assists activation, it can be a forgotten step or performed incorrectly.

3. Pull Tab: Pulling a tab to activate a Bluetooth beacon is a common method used in consumer electronics. It’s simple but may not be the best choice for high volume, repetitive scenarios.

4. Shipped Active: Some Bluetooth beacons come pre-activated, eliminating the need for any manual intervention. While this is convenient, it may not offer the flexibility needed for specific use cases.

The Challenge of Association

Beyond activation, there’s the critical issue of associating the unique identifier of the smart device with the logical identifier of the item being tracked. Traditionally, this association is a manual process or is supported by scanning barcodes. However, in a bustling warehouse environment, mistakes can happen. Smart devices might not be activated, or the association might not be correctly recorded, leading to a tracking failure.

The Reelables Solution

The Reelables Bluetooth beacon offers a unique solution to address these challenges, particularly in high-volume tracking scenarios. Designed with operational efficiency and accuracy in mind, Reelables beacons simplify both activation and association processes.

Activation through Label Printing: Reelables Bluetooth beacons come in the form of labels that are activated during the printing process through a label printer. This means that applying a smart label becomes an integral part of the operational workflow, reducing the chances of oversight or error.

Automated Association: The relationship between the item being tracked and the smart device’s unique identifier is automated, eliminating the need for manual input or barcode scanning. This automated association ensures accuracy and minimizes the risk of tracking discrepancies.


  • Seamless integration into existing operational processes.
  • Reduced risk of operational errors, ensuring accurate tracking.
  • Highly suitable for high-volume tracking requirements.


  • May not be the most efficient solution for low-volume tracking scenarios with Bluetooth beacons.


In summary, the Reelables Bluetooth beacon offers a practical and efficient solution for high-volume tracking needs, simplifying activation and association processes. By incorporating these smart labels into your operational workflow, you can significantly reduce the risk of errors and achieve precise asset tracking in demanding environments. However, for lower-volume tracking scenarios, alternative solutions may be more appropriate. Careful consideration of your specific use case will guide you in selecting the ideal Bluetooth beacon solution.

Contact us to learn more about why Reelables Bluetooth Labels are the best option for real-time visibility.