Bluetooth is one of the most popular wireless connections available. Almost everyone who uses a mobile phone has used Bluetooth in some way. Nowadays, the technology has made its way to wearable devices, speakers and other external devices. However, before now you could only connect a handful of devices to a single Bluetooth connection. You could not create a proper network with Bluetooth. In the near future, this will stop being a problem. This is due to the creation of the Bluetooth Mesh, which is a network of Bluetooth devices. This network will operate similarly to Wi-Fi networks, as it will spread over a large area and connect many devices.
Bluetooth Mesh will connect up to 32,000 devices at once to a single wireless network, which is quite staggering. This means that you can have as many Bluetooth-enabled devices in your home that have a Bluetooth Mesh radio as possible, like smart bulbs for example. With a simple switch, or a command from your phone, you can turn on or turn off any device connected to the Bluetooth Mesh from wherever you are. This works because each device connected to the Bluetooth Mesh communicates with the next, thus passing your commands along in short hops.
The Bluetooth Mesh would be quite useful in a smart home. However, according to the VP of marketing for Bluetooth Special Interest Group, Ken Kolderup, the first customers of the technology will likely be big industrial environments and green buildings making big investments in smart lighting. Once a building has installed a building-wide network of smart lights, other distribute could make use of the Bluetooth network too.
With the Bluetooth Mesh technology, you would not need a smart home hub to configure and control a network, like you would on a Wi-Fi connection. This you can do with your phone. However, other smart bulb options like ZigBee won’t die out just yet. In any case, we can expect the first Bluetooth Mesh devices to be out as soon as this year.