Mesh networking is used in both wired and wireless networking, and SIG says that the new Bluetooth mesh capability enables many-to-many (m:m) device communications.It says it is optimised for creating large-scale device networks.
"The arrival of the Bluetooth SIG's mesh technology is a significant step towards industry standardization and adoption and will help bring interoperability to Bluetooth devices and new use cases like lighting, indoor positioning and asset tracking for the Internet of Things", Qualcomm Technology's VP of product management said.
The group recently announced support for mesh networking.
"Time and time again it has been shown that markets flourish when multi-vendor interoperability exists", says the SIG.
Selection of a mesh networking technology is a critical decision for any developer, and it is a make or break factor in the success of a solution.
The value-added capabilities, mature ecosystem and global brand awareness that Bluetooth wireless technology provides will enable the creation of much richer solutions with a faster time to market. "In the same way the connected device market experienced rapid growth after the introduction of Bluetooth Low Energy, we believe Bluetooth mesh networking can play a vital role in helping early stage markets, such as building automation and wireless sensor networks, experience more rapid growth".
Though, it's possible that a lot of devices running the aforementioned Bluetooth versions won't support Bluetooth mesh tech since it requires a software update on part of the device manufacturers and the uncertainty of them pushing an update is no secret. At CES 2017 we met eero, a company that developed a simple-to-use mesh networking solution; also in January, Linksys launched their Velop modular mesh WiFi system; and more recently, Comcast began working with Plume to integrate their mesh networking technology into Comcast's platform. Bluetooth SIG expects Bluetooth Mesh to penetrate the market more quickly than a release that requires new hardware, predicting large scale entrance in under six months.
The Bluetooth mesh networking specifications, as well as the necessary tools, can be found here.
To learn more about Bluetooth mesh, visit bluetooth.com/mesh. For example, a Bluetooth-connected speaker's connection might not reach across the width of a home, but can manage the distance easily when its signal is being re-transmitted by a series of connected lights and a garage door opener.
Bluetooth SIG were one of the first innovators for point-to-point communication and control.