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Bluetooth Mesh is the next generation of phone connectivity

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/Ekaphon maneechot)

Bluetooth is set for a huge upgrade that will pave the way for the smart homes and cities of the future.  

The group behind the wireless standard, Bluetooth SIG, has released the specifications for Bluetooth mesh which would allow devices to connect to one another to form a mesh network.  In doing so, the signals we send out from our smartphones and other Bluetooth equipped devices could utilise every other device on the network to reach their destination.  This means that if a device is out of range, the signal sent to it could be re-transmitted by other devices throughout our homes and workplaces. 

Smart home devices will benefit the most from Bluetooth Mesh since smart light bulbs, appliances and even wearables could all be used to sent a signal throughout even very large homes.  For example, if you forgot to turn off a light upstairs and remembered as you were leaving you could do so on your smartphone and the signal would bounce from device to device until it reached the light. 

The existing Bluetooth devices you already have will not receive this added functionality without updates from their manufacturers but any device that supports Bluetooth 4.0 or 5.0 is compatible with the new Bluetooth Mesh standards.    

According to Bluetooth SIG, new Bluetooth standards generally become available on devices around six months after their release.  However, with Bluetooth Mesh no new hardware is required which will make it a lot easier for this new functionality to rollout even sooner. 

The executive director of Bluetooth SIG, Mark Powell, highlighted how this new technology will help markets grow, saying: 

“By adding support for mesh networking, the Bluetooth member community is continuing a long history of focused innovation to help new, up-and-coming markets flourish. 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.”   

Image Credit: Ekaphon Maneechot / Shutterstock