The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) will increase the Internet of Things (IoT) functionality of its Bluetooth Smart standard in 2016 with longer range, higher speeds and mesh networking, the group said.
The SIG projects adoption of these key features in the second half of 2016, a spokesperson told TWICE. “Chipsets are usually available within a month, and depending on how products are made (if can they be updated via a software update), products will be coming toward the end of next year, early 2017,” the spokesperson added.
The range of Bluetooth Smart will increase up to four times from the current 50 meters “to transform smart home and infrastructure applications” and deliver “an extended, more robust connection for full-home or outdoor use cases,” the group said. Data speeds will double to 2Mbps from 1 Mbps without increasing energy consumption, enabling “faster data transfers in critical applications, such as medical devices, increasing responsiveness and lowering latency.”
With mesh networking, Bluetooth devices will create hub-less home-automation networks “that can cover an entire building or home, opening up home and industrial automation applications,” the group added.
“We see the particular features mentioned in the roadmap as being particularly useful for IoT and smart homes, but Bluetooth Smart is also used in wearables, smart phones, beacons, etc.,” the spokesperson added.
Additional features are also planned in the group’s 2016 Bluetooth Smart roadmap and will be previewed in the coming months.
“The new functionality we will soon be adding will further solidify Bluetooth as the backbone of IoT technology,” said SIG executive director Mark Powell.