Bluetooth SIG establishes mesh working group for Internet of Things

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) is forming the Bluetooth Smart Mesh Working Group to look at standardizing mesh networking for Bluetooth Smart technology and identify areas that can benefit from mesh, from the smart home to other Internet of Things (IoT) verticals.

"The Bluetooth SIG is very good at standardizing 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, in a press release. "Our members are extremely interested in mesh networking, not just for the smart home, but for every vertical using Bluetooth Smart. Given the sheer number of companies coming into the working group, this is clearly a priority for our members."

The Bluetooth SIG reports that 80 member companies already volunteered to serve on the Bluetooth Smart Mesh Working Group--among the highest of any SIG working group. Automotive, mobile phone/mobility, industrial automation, home automation, consumer electronics and computing companies are all getting into the act.

Rather than focusing on one specific use case, the objective of the group is to build a common platform all members can develop to. The group is assessing many user scenarios that would benefit from mesh. Lighting, HVAC control, asset tracking and security are all areas on the table.

While practically everybody and their brothers and sisters are touting technologies for the Internet of Things (IoT), Powell says Bluetooth has a leg up in that it consumes the least amount of power and is the "lowest cost and most widely available wireless solution enabling IoT today," he said in the release. "Bringing mesh networking to the Bluetooth specification will propel the technology to entirely new market segments."

The Smart Mesh Working Group expects to have the specification ready for prototype testing later this year, and the SIG will look to officially adopt profiles in 2016.

Other groups are ramping up their efforts to seize IoT opportunities. The ZigBee Alliance last year decided to unify its wireless standards into a single, new standard named ZigBee 3.0. The association said the standard will provide interoperability among the widest range of smart devices and give consumers and businesses access to innovative products and services that will work together seamlessly.

For more:
- see this GigaOm story
- see the press release

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