I've been writing about the rise of the Bluetooth smart home for some time, and the key missing piece has been the addition of mesh networking to the core spec. Sure, CSR has had silicon (and recently expanded their home automation features), but for a technology to get widely adopted it needs to be in the core spec.
It looks like the Bluetooth SIG has heard our pleas because today they announced the formation of a Bluetooth Smart Mesh Working Group.
This just crossed the wire, and I happen to be heading over the the Bluetooth SIG HQ tomorrow (they're in my 'hood in Washington State), so I'll have more thoughts after talking to them, but I thought I'd do a quick post on this in the meantime.
The full PR is below.
Bluetooth® Technology Adding Mesh Networking to
Spur New Wave of Innovation
Bluetooth SIG sets course to revolutionize smart home, automation, and the IoT with Bluetooth Smart Mesh
Kirkland, Washington – February 24, 2015 – The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) officially announced the formation of theBluetooth® Smart Mesh Working Group. This working group will build the architecture for standardized mesh networking capability for Bluetooth Smart technology. As Bluetooth Smart sensors proliferate in the home, mesh networking will become an integral component to ensure consumers’ Bluetooth enabled smart locks, lights, HVAC systems, and even appliances work together to deliver a seamless smart home experience.
“The Bluetooth SIG is very good at standardizing its technology and creating platforms that ensure product interoperability, while allowing members the flexibility to innovate,” said Mark Powell, executive director of the Bluetooth SIG. “Our members are extremely interested in mesh networking, not just for the smart home, but for every vertical using Bluetooth Smart. Given the sheer number of companies coming into the working group, this is clearly a priority for our members.”
Over 80 member companies already volunteered to serve on the Bluetooth Smart Mesh Working Group, among the highest of any SIG working group and demonstrating the strong industry backing for this initiative. The group is comprised of companies from a broad array of industries, including automotive, mobile phone/mobility, industrial automation, home automation, consumer electronics, and computing. Rather than focusing on one specific use case, the objective of the group is to build a common platform all members can develop to. The group is assessing many user scenarios that would benefit from mesh, including lighting, HVAC control, asset tracking, and security.
“The value proposition for Bluetooth technology in the Internet of Things (IoT) is unmatched – it consumes the least amount of power, is the lowest cost, and most widely available wireless solution enabling the IoT today,” added Powell. “Bringing mesh networking to the Bluetooth specification will propel the technology to entirely new market segments.”
The Smart Mesh Working Group expects to have the specification ready for prototype testing later this year, and the SIG will look to officially adopt profiles in 2016.
Bluetooth SIG Associate and Promoter members can join the group at any time and contribute to this important new extension of Bluetooth Smart. If you are interested in joining the group, visit https://www.bluetooth.org/groups/group.aspx?gId=622.
About Bluetooth® Wireless Technology
Bluetooth wireless technology is the global wireless standard enabling simple, secure connectivity for an expanding range of devices and serves as the backbone of the connected world. Bluetooth Smart technology, through an updatable platform and low power consumption, creates new application opportunities for the mobile phone, consumer electronics, PC, automotive, health & fitness and smart home industries. With nearly three billion devices shipping annually, Bluetooth is the wireless technology of choice for developers, product manufacturers, and consumers worldwide. Backed by industry leading companies, the Bluetooth SIG empowers over 25,000 member companies to collaborate, innovate and guide Bluetooth wireless technology. For more information, please visitwww.bluetooth.com.