Bluetooth SIG has been teasing us with talk of Bluetooth Mesh for a long time. Now, it's finally here! This is what it means for you.
While Bluetooth tags may not get the full effect of the upgrade overnight, this is the start of something very exciting for users and solution providers everywhere. It can be a little difficult for ordinary users to understand the change, but Bluetooth breaks down the evolution of their protocol like this:
They started with simple one-to-one connections like your smartphone to your headphones or your laptop to your smartwatch. Then they moved to broadcast connections--that would be beacons, broadcasting to several devices from one point. Now, they want everything to talk to everything. Their mesh was made to power large scale network (think building automation, sensor networks, and asset tracking).
Some key takeaways include: no, mesh networks won't require more energy; yes, they do expect sensor solutions to adopt mesh networking; no it won't work with wireless audio products (sorry! no streaming your audio to all the devices in your home just yet!); and no, mesh won't interrupt your other Bluetooth connections.
Mark Powell, executive director for Bluetooth SIG, Inc., explains:
"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."
"These are still the early days of IoT with Bluetooth. This is a first step for the IoT, which means there’s a lot of work ahead of us. Still, we can already see the possibilities for revolution in IoT. Just like with the Internet once--there were first LAN networks, and the revolution in computing--we can see the next phase is right there."
Szymon Niemczura, CEO Kontakt.io
Read more on the Bluetooth SIG website here.