The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) announced that the Bluetooth LE spec now supports mesh networking, making the wireless technology an option for large-scale device networks.
Expected to give Z-Wave and ZigBee a run for its money, the mesh support for Bluetooth LE enables short-burst wireless connections for many-to-many (m:m) device communications. It is compatible with Bluetooth LE version 4.0 and higher.
According to a FAQ from Bluetooth SIG, while it doesn’t require more power, it doesn’t support audio streaming.
In addition to being suited for smart-home and other IoT solutions, the group noted that addition of mesh enhances Bluetooth LE’s capabilities for asset tracking vs. active RFID. “Adding mesh has lifted Bluetooth LE range limitations,” said the group, “and established the adoption of Bluetooth asset-tracking solutions for use in larger and more complex building environments.”