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Bluetooth To Go Further, Faster And Get Mesh Networking

November 11, 2015 - Written By Matthew Humphress

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) sees the future coming, and they are ready to lay claim to the Internet of Things. Wednesday, SIG revealed a short, but ambitious outline for the future direction it intends to steer Bluetooth technology, and it is all about the connectivity that will be the foundation of the Internet of Things. SIG is the not-for-profit consortium that develops Bluetooth standards, handles licensing of the technologies and oversees trademarks to manufacturers. The corporation does not make, manufacture, or sell Bluetooth technologies themselves.

The standards SIG is developing for its 2016 technology roadmap is directed at ensuring Bluetooth is ready to meet the needs and challenges that will come with the Internet of Things. SmartHomes and businesses will require more adaptability than the current technology offers. This is why SIG is set to increase, by four times, the range of Bluetooth Smart (Bluetooth low energy). As technology advances and embeds itself into all variety of workplaces, new devices are being built which require faster data transfers, increased responsiveness and lower latency. To meet those challenges, SIG aims to increase speeds by 100% without affecting the equipped devices’ energy consumption. Finally, SIG also plans for the next generation of Bluetooth devices to be able to connect to one another, forming mesh networks that will be the base structure of the internet of things.

Toby Nixon, chairman of the Bluetooth SIG Board of Directors told Business Wire: “Current projections put the market potential for IoT(Internet of Things) between $2 and $11.1 trillion by 2025. The technical updates planned for Bluetooth technology in 2016 will help make these expectations a reality and accelerate growth in IoT.” With figures like those in the first part of the chairman’s statement, it is easy to understand why the second part of his remark is so important to SIG. I’m not sure if where the money goes the technology follows, or if it is the other way around, but it is obvious for SIG to keep Bluetooth technology relevant, it needs to drive it into the future.

SIG reports: “Over three billion Bluetooth products will ship this year, with nearly five billion projected to ship by 2019.” That is a whole lot of devices in the world, enabled with a technology much of the public is familiar with. Those numbers give compelling weight to SIG’s bullish claims on Bluetooth’s important role in the Internet of Things