Faster Speed, Longer Range and Mesh Networking Being Added to a Bluetooth Technology in 2016

Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) recently unveiled its roadmap for 2016 by announcing a new standard to be rolled out over the course of the next year in the form of the latest “Bluetooth Smart” platform. Bluetooth, first introduced in 1994, has become a crucial part in the development of Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity and the industry is expecting the technology to deliver better features.

IoT is predicted to be an industry worth between $2 and $11.1 trillion by 2025. It is growing astronomically and is expected to connect over 6.4 billion devices by 2016, mostly via Bluetooth. The increased demand, along with devices which are being continuously developed to become more powerful and sophisticated in their capabilities, leave little doubt that Bluetooth technology needs to outpace these devices in terms of performance and features.

In a press release announcing the updated platform, Toby Nixon, chairman of Bluetooth SIG Board of Directors said “the technical updates planned for Bluetooth technology in 2016 will help make these expectations a reality and accelerate growth in IoT.”

The new platform promises to quadruple Bluetooth range and double the speed of data transfer while keeping power requirements at current levels for increased efficiency. Better yet, Bluetooth Smart will also integrate mesh networking in 2016. This implies that multiple devices over a wide range in an office or home environment can connect to the network and every gadget can repeat network signals to Bluetooth objects hooked up wirelessly to the network.

Mesh networking will permit powerful connections that will expand networks over entire buildings and set the path for industrial automation applications. These improvements will establish Bluetooth as the principle enabler of the quickly expanding IoT. The expanded features will allow Bluetooth technology to be relied on for an ever-increasing number of IoT apps, such as Z-Wave and Zigbee. It will also aid to improve functionalities in technologies like smart infrastructure, location-based services, smart home and medical devices.

The new roadmap highlights the group’s importance “as a catalyst for industry innovation,” said Mark Powell, executive director of Bluetooth SIG. “Bluetooth has been adopted by countless developers and manufacturers as their connectivity solution of choice for the IoT.” The group will continue its efforts to keep enhancing Bluetooth technology and always try to stay ahead of industry needs.

Bluetooth SIG has over 27,000 corporate members, including heavy hitters Apple, Microsoft, Lenevo and Intel among thousands of others. To help understand and incorporate the new Bluetooth features, the group will offer its members updated training programs and tools, such as Bluetooth Developer Studio, which was created to assist developers to support a variety of IoT enhanced attributes.