While future connections go by ultra-fast standards like 4G or 5G for mobile data or WiFi 802.11ac for wireless connections, Bluetooth also plays a major factor in secure, low-latency and low-power connections energetic. Now, you want to enter through the large door with Bluetooth Mesh.
Bluetooth Mesh: A New Standard for Home Connection
Bluetooth SIG, the group that controls the Bluetooth standard, today released the technical specification of Bluetooth Mesh, which as its name indicates, acts in a similar way to the WiFi mesh by creating a mesh network with low power devices through a Bluetooth connection.
So, instead of going from point to point, the mesh communications go “jumping” from device to device, which comes in handy if we want to reach a long distance wireless coverage that we would not reach with a point-to-point connection. Mesh networks are very important if we have a big house and we do not want to use repeaters or cables.
Some of the devices in this type of networks use the battery, so it is important that their consumption is as low as possible. Therefore, thanks to Bluetooth Mesh, not all devices will have to be able to forward the wireless signal to keep their consumption to a minimum. An example of this is found in thermometers that regulate the temperature of thermostats.
Compatible with Bluetooth 4.0 and later
At a security level, Bluetooth Mesh requires that all communications using this standard be fully encrypted. In addition, it is compatible with all devices that support Bluetooth 4.0 or later, including the new Bluetooth 5.0 version, which consumes half of power and even allows you to play music with two headphones at the same time connected to the same device.
Although it works on virtually any hardware after 2011, many older devices will not receive the upgrade to be compatible with Bluetooth Mesh, being relegated virtually to new products. Bluetooth SIG has planned this, and Bluetooth devices can act simply as proxies for other Bluetooth products to connect and controls devices on the same network. For example, a mobile phone can connect to one of these devices so that it tells the network to turn on the lights on another plant.
The new Bluetooth standards usually take about 6 months to start using devices that go on the market, but Bluetooth SIG states that the introduction of Bluetooth Mesh should be even much faster because it requires no new hardware, but simply an update of software.
With this, we have a new contender in the battle to become the wireless standard of home, cities and business environments, where we already find other connectivities such as ZigBee, used by devices like the home automation kit Xiaomi Smart Home. To make matters worse, the Wi-Fi Alliance still works on the low-power 802.11ah standard to be the new low-power standard for the home and connected city, to which the 5G will add in a few years.