Is it possible to transmit images via Bluetooth LE? Not in the misleading way that some platform providers say beacons transmit text and data when an app is actually converting a transmitted a unique id to data from elsewhere. We mean really have beacons transmit images in the very limited-size advertising data.
Chong Shao, Shahriar Nirjon, Jan-Michael Frahm or the Department of Computer Science, University of North Carolina have a recent paper on “Years-Long Binary Image Broadcast using Bluetooth Low Energy Beacons” (pdf). Again, don’t be misled, they don’t mean it takes years to send an image but instead that a beacon might transmit for a long time (which most do).
The researchers have found that with suitable compression schemes, a set of 2–3 beacons is capable of broadcasting high-quality images (75%–90% structurally similar to original images). The image quality improves when more beacons are used.
The images are necessarily very simple but nevertheless this provides a great example of what can be achieved when you attempt the seemingly impossible.