Next Generation Bluetooth is Great News for Smart Home Tech
Joe Campbell / 3 years ago
Next Generation Bluetooth
For the last few years, Bluetooth technology has taken a bit of a back burner as the go to choice for wireless connectivity. With the likes of Wi-Fi on the market, Bluetooth struggled to compete with its limited range and compatibility. However, Bluetooth SIG, the company that oversees the Bluetooth standard has announced the release of Bluetooth Mesh.
What is Bluetooth Mesh
Bluetooth Mesh is a new technology that tackles the problem with limited range, an issue that has plagued Bluetooth technology. Rather than the traditional connection method of a base to location, such as a modem or router to a laptop or mobile device. Mesh networks work in such a way that they effectively ‘hop’ from one location to another, thus extending the range significantly. Of course, there is more to it than it sounds. However, the technology is certainly a positive foot forward.
Benefits of a Mesh Network
The benefits of a mesh network are plentiful, however, the main aspects to focus on are range and reliability. On a standard connection, whether it be via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. If you fall out of the range of the transmitter, you simply lose connection. With a mesh connection, you can set a base transmitter, then use multiple devices to simply ‘hop’ from one device to another. Each device will act as a secondary transmitter and emit a new connection, extending the range yet again.However,
However, the range should never be an issue and it can be repeated over a significant number of devices. This method will be particularly useful in a home smart system setup. Allowing individual controls, speakers, lighting and other automotive devices to be connected to a single transmitter with no loss of connectivity. The second major benefit is the reliability of the connections. Fortunately, not all the connected devices need to be sending a constant signal which will allow for lower power consumption. However, the connections will remain stable and most importantly secure.
No Need to Purchase New Hardware
There is another major advantage of Bluetooth Mesh technology. It can be added to any device that already supports Bluetooth 4.0 or 5.0. However, not all of your existing devices will get the upgrade. The advantage of being able to add the software to existing devices means that new hardware isn’t required to enjoy the benefits of the software. Bluetooth SIG has stated that a rollout of devices with in-built technology usually takes around 6 months, so with that said, we should expect to see Mesh enabled devices on the majority of devices soon.
A Second Coming for Bluetooth?
It’s hard to determine whether Bluetooth Mesh will be the product to bring Bluetooth back to the top of the market. Of course, the software is fantastic and will certainly improve a lot of connectivity issues. Suiting a smart home system for reliability will make it a clear choice over the likes of Wi-Fi. However, outside of the specialist circumstances, Bluetooth will never compete with the likes of Wi-Fi. Purely due to the fact that Bluetooth can not emit high-speed internet connections. Despite this, Bluetooth Mesh is certainly a step in the right direction. It could certainly bring Bluetooth as a whole to the next level.