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Bluetooth releases its new specification for its Mesh project

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July 21, 2017

The Bluetooth SIG (Special Interest Group) has released the new specifications for Bluetooth Mesh, an extension of the technology's capabilities.

Bluetooth Mesh aims to make the standard capable of carrying data for longer distances, by bouncing messages through Bluetooth devices to their eventual destination.

But some readers will say that WiFi has superior connectivity range and is also good at mesh networking, and they would be right to say so.

But today, it's all about power and money. All devices on a Bluetooth Mesh will use Bluetooth Low Energy (LE), but only main-powered nodes get the job of relaying messages.

To be sure, nodes that are reliant on batteries need only connect every four days, making it possible to build sensors that should last a few years on a single coin-cell battery.

Sipping just small amounts of power means that Bluetooth designers expect it will be possible to do things like build asset-tracking widgets that can be periodically polled across a warehouse floor, with devices that already need power and are worthy of frequent control.

And there's another dimension to power as well. The SIG asserts that its twenty-year heritage gives it impressive muscle, in terms of user base and implementers, that users would be wise to recognise before considering various alternatives.

Money comes from the chance to avoid costlier network builds, because Bluetooth meshes can do without central controllers like routers. The low cost of Bluetooth-equipped devices, the possibility that some current hardware with enough memory can be upgraded to participate in Bluetooth meshes and the Bluetooth community's depth and breadth of experience are all neat and new features that users will enjoy, says SIG.

This is all of course aimed squarely at the Internet of Things market, which readily explains why the Bluetooth SIG is also making much of its security credentials-- IoT device makers sure can use an improvement in that department, especially when it comes to internet security.

Source: The Bluetooth Special Interest Group.


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