You may have heard of Wi-Fi mesh networking. We've told you about its advantages particularly if you have a large home or office that require consistent network speeds. With a mesh Wi-Fi network, multiple access points or satellites work together to spread coverage.
But did you know that there's another protocol that's joining the "mesh" party? And more importantly, this new standard can benefit smart homes and Internet-Of-Things appliances more than a Wi-Fi mesh network could.
When the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), which supervises and develops Bluetooth technology, released the official specifications for Bluetooth meshing a few months ago, tech fans, most especially Internet-of-Things and smart home aficionados, were both intrigued and excited about how it can transform our increasingly connected world.
With a Bluetooth mesh, devices can finally harness the low-power requirements of Bluetooth and relay signals with each other, forming a communication web around them - yep, like a mesh.
This can help signals reach longer distances since they can hop from device to device until they reach their targets.
Right now, non-mesh Bluetooth communications have limited range since it's always a point-to-point affair. If the paired Bluetooth devices are too far apart, then they can't talk with each other.
Using its relatively lower power requirements compared to Wi-Fi, a Bluetooth Mesh can extend a device's range indefinitely as long as the target device is within range of another mesh device.
This will benefit a smart home immensely since each Bluetooth mesh device is essentially a range extender and the size of your house will no longer matter.
Say, you install Bluetooth mesh light bulbs around your home, aside from illuminating your rooms, these same bulbs will also act as conduits or repeaters for your other mesh appliances, enveloping your whole building with all that Bluetooth communication goodness.
The possibilities are intriguing since, with this setup, you can have all your smart appliances automatically set themselves with just a single command.
Another advantage of a Bluetooth Mesh is its redundancy. Unlike a traditional smart home that relies on a central hub, there's no single point of failure. If one mesh device goes down, the rest of the network can carry the slack.
So, while a Bluetooth Mesh network trumps a Wi-Fi network in some aspects due to its low power/bandwidth requirements and the relatively smaller size of Bluetooth components, it is still not considered a replacement for high-speed Wi-Fi connections for moving large amounts of data.
Is your gadget Bluetooth Mesh ready?
If your current device supports Bluetooth 4.0 or 5.0, then meshing features can be added via an update. This will still depend whether or not the manufacturer will issue it.
However, since the technology is already standardized, we expect that all devices released in the near future will have Bluetooth Mesh support built-in.
What do you think? Is Bluetooth Mesh technology going to revolutionize the smart home? Drop us a comment!