Bluetooth SIG, or folks that chalk the course of Bluetooth standard, are today releasing the specifications of Bluetooth Mesh – a new standard that will make Bluetooth fit for smart homes.
As of today, the concept of Smart Home involves a series of smart devices connected to the internet and to each other using your Home WiFi router, but most WiFi communication takes place from point to point and it might be a problem if a particular smart device is out of the WiFi range.
Bluetooth Mesh will work like all other mesh networks and will provide a solution for such issues. Devices connected via mesh network can transmit data and communicate over longer distances while consuming very low power.
This is because the low power signal that any device in the network generates is repeated by other connected devices along the way and hops on until it reaches its destination. This way, some of the small smart devices that have limited power to spare can successfully communicate with each other even over long distances. All communication on Mesh standard also has to be encrypted.
All this makes Bluetooth a far better network alternative for Smart homes than WiFi.
However, there still will be several challenges to tackle before Bluetooth Mesh can become mainstream. The Bluetooth Mesh upgrade won’t require new hardware, but still, it’s unlikely that most of the smart devices will be upgraded to the Mesh standard anytime soon. Besides, IoT manufacturers will invariably feel the need to keep WiFi at priority, at least as of now.
Bluetooth Mesh is a significant upgrade to Bluetooth, but only time will ascertain how readily it is adopted and goes mainstream.
By adding support for mesh networking, the Bluetooth member community is continuing a long history of focused innovation to help new, up-and-coming markets flourish. In the same way the connected device market experienced rapid growth after the introduction of Bluetooth Low Energy, we believe Bluetooth mesh networking can play a vital role in helping early stage markets, such as building automation and wireless sensor networks, experience more rapid growth.
-Mark Powell, executive director for Bluetooth SIG