Bluetooth adds mesh networking support to boost IoT

Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) has announced launch of mesh networking support in a bid to boost many-to-many device communication and the broader IoT industry.

The standard’s newly unveiled mesh capability enables many-to-many (m:m) device communications and is suited to large-scale device networks incorporating building automation, sensors and other IoT devices.

Designed to handle sensitive data, all messages sent via Bluetooth are encrypted and authenticated using three types of keys. The technology also utilises a flood message relay architecture for message routing on low-bandwidth networks handling a significant amount of multicast messaging traffic.

Bluetooth SIG states that mesh supports “self-healing networks with no single points of failure” among thousands of nodes, in addition to multi-vendor interoperability and a full-stack approach that defines the low-level radio up to the high-level application layer for a fully specified approach.

“Within the automation market, there is a growing focus on connected lighting and the role it can play as a platform for providing automation services throughout a facility,” commented Szymon Slupik, president and CTO of Silvair and chairman of the mesh working group within the Bluetooth SIG.

He added: “A smart lighting platform built on top of Bluetooth mesh networking can also support asset tracking, point of interest, and way-finding services.”

Bluetooth expects its install base (approximately 7.7 billion in 2016) to reach 13.8 billion to 2021, in conjunction with findings from ABI Research.

Bluetooth mesh networking specifications and tools to qualify Bluetooth products with mesh networking support are available now.