The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) is looking to add mesh networking capabilities to the Bluetooth Smart wireless technology, making it easier for devices to network together as part of the Internet of Things (IoT).
The Bluetooth SIG, which oversees the development and licensing of Bluetooth standards, has announced the formation of a Bluetooth Smart Mesh Working Group to thrash out official standards for mesh networks using the technology.
The Smart Mesh Working Group expects to have the specifications ready for testing later this year, and the Bluetooth SIG said that it will seek to officially adopt profiles for devices by 2016.
Bluetooth Smart, otherwise known as Bluetooth Low Energy, is an optional low-power wireless interface added to the Bluetooth 4.0 specifications in 2010. It is aimed at small, battery-powered devices such as sensors, making it an ideal candidate for applications around the IoT.
Mesh networks allow devices to pass messages from node to node, rather than every node communicating directly with each other or a central controller. It means that networks can include devices that might be out of the wireless communications range of nodes at the other end of the network.
Mesh networking is set to become a key technology as Bluetooth Smart sensors proliferate in the home, according to the Bluetooth SIG.
It can ensure that Bluetooth-enabled smart locks, lights, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, and even appliances, work together to deliver a seamless smart home experience.
"The Bluetooth SIG is very good at standardising its technology and creating platforms that ensure product interoperability, while allowing members the flexibility to innovate," said Mark Powell, executive director of the Bluetooth SIG.
Mesh networking is not just for the home, of course, and the Bluetooth SIG sees it as being applicable in every market segment served by Bluetooth Smart.
"The value proposition for Bluetooth technology in the IoT is unmatched. It consumes the least amount of power, and it's the lowest cost and the most widely available wireless solution enabling the IoT today," Powell said.
Earlier this week IBM and Arm announced a partnership to boost the growth of the IoT with a 'starter kit' based on technologies from the firms.
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