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Industry fast-tracks Bluetooth mesh spec

Posted: 26 Feb 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Bluetooth? smart mesh? Thread Group? IoT? Zigbee?

Some 80 member companies have already volunteered to serve on the Bluetooth Smart Mesh Working Group. Kroeter explained that mesh has garnered the second highest number of volunteers among any SIG activities, with the highest being the core spec group.

CSR plugs in

The SIG isn't unveiling names of those 80 participating companies, but CSR publicly said that it is a part of the Bluetooth Smart Mesh Working Group.

Rick Walker, senior marketing manager, IoT at CSR, told us, "Rather than keeping CSRmesh proprietary, CSR is working with the Bluetooth SIG to create a standard profile for Bluetooth Smart mesh." He said that CSR's Robin Heydon is the chair of the Bluetooth Smart Mesh Working Group.

Walker added, "It's our belief that an open standard will accelerate and simplify the adoption process for consumers, which will enable Bluetooth Smart to deliver on the potential of the Internet of Things."

The standardisation of mesh technology will take place on the "profile" level, the software definition that sits atop Bluetooth's core spec, explained Kroeter. The plan is that mesh profiles will support more than one use case and will be designed to be flexible, he added.

Asked why the industry is so eager to add mesh technology to Bluetooth, Kroeter said that it enables wider coverage. "Some applications want a good coverage that can extend an entire building, and in some applications you don't want to have a central hub. You want one message to be able to bound along with no hub in the middle."

Kroeter appears to believe that Thread could be a direct competitor to Bluetooth Mesh, rather than ZigBee. But at this point, with no real Thread specs on the table, "we really have nothing to compare with," he noted.

The biggest strength of Bluetooth and Bluetooth Mesh (when it's done) is a huge installed base of Bluetooth devices. No other personal area networking technologies can claim that advantage.

- Junko Yoshida
??EE Times

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