The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) announced today that Bluetooth technology now supports mesh networking. The new mesh capability enables many-to-many (m:m) device communications and is optimized for creating large-scale device networks. It is ideally suited for building automation, sensor networks and other IoT solutions where tens, hundreds, or thousands of devices need to reliably and securely communicate with one another.
“By adding support for mesh networking, the Bluetooth member community is continuing a long history of focused innovation to help new, up-and-coming markets flourish,” said Mark Powell, executive director for Bluetooth SIG, Inc., in a statement. “In the same way the connected device market experienced rapid growth after the introduction of Bluetooth Low Energy, 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.”
Commercial building and factory automation represent major market opportunities for wireless mesh networking technologies. These markets demand true industrial-grade solutions, which Bluetooth mesh uniquely delivers.
• Reliability: Enables inherently self-healing networks with no single points of failure
• Scalability: Supports thousands of nodes with industrial-level performance
• Security: Provides industrial-grade security for protection against all known attacks
Proven, global interoperability
Time and time again it has been shown that markets flourish when multi-vendor interoperability exists. Bluetooth mesh delivers proven, global interoperability that assures products from different vendors work together.
• Full-stack solution: A unique full-stack approach that defines the low-level radio up to the high-level application layer, ensuring all aspects of the technology are fully specified
• Interop-centric specification: Comprehensive, multi-vendor interoperability testing is conducted during the specification development process, not after specification release
• Time-tested tools and processes: A 20-year history of delivering the qualification tools and processes needed to ensure global, multi-vendor interoperability
“Multi-vendor interoperability is a major factor in determining how fast markets develop,” said Russ Sharer, VP Global Marketing and Business Development, Fulham, in a statement. “Fulham is excited to finally see a wireless, multi-vendor, interoperable standard for lighting controls and we believe Bluetooth mesh networking will greatly expand the size and functionality of the market.”
Mature, trusted technology
Selection of a mesh networking technology is a critical decision for any developer, and it is a make or break factor in the success of a solution. By selecting Bluetooth technology, developers can deliver richer solutions with a faster time to market.
• Value-added services: A mesh network built using Bluetooth technology can support additional services, such as asset tracking and way finding
• A mature ecosystem: The Bluetooth ecosystem provides the best enabling technology, along with the tools and services that shrink the time to market
• Global brand awareness: Bluetooth is a trusted global brand that stands for simple, secure wireless connectivity
“Within the building automation market, there is a growing focus on connected lighting and the role it can play as a platform for providing automation services throughout a facility,” said Szymon Slupik, president and CTO of Silvair and chairman of the mesh working group within the Bluetooth SIG, in a statement. “A smart lighting platform built on top of Bluetooth mesh networking can also support asset tracking, point of interest, and way-finding services. These value-added capabilities are part of why we believe Bluetooth is an ideal technology for enabling a mesh network.”
The Bluetooth mesh networking specifications, as well as the tools required to qualify Bluetooth products with mesh networking support, are now available at the Bluetooth website. Bluetooth mesh networking operates on Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) and is compatible with core specification version 4.0 and higher.
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To learn more about Bluetooth mesh, visit bluetooth.com/mesh.
MacDailyNews Take: A great update for Bluetooth!
Many to Many?
I hope this means two or more sets of AirPods can listen to a single music stream from a single iPhone.
This way my running partner and I can listen to the same music at the same time.
The bad news is that no, mesh isn’t suited for multi-point audio. The good news is that the functionality is part of the Bluetooth 5 spec. The Galaxy S8 already has this.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see this from Apple this fall.
Oh, and it will be more reliable, have greater range, faster and more efficient.
I also wouldn’t be surprised to see the music app allowing you to split the left channel to one speaker and the right channel to another speaker (or adjust balance between the two).
Racep Erdogan and spy centers like the NSA would love the growth and expansion of this still incipient technology.