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HomeKit thanks: new type of Bluetooth protocol will benefit – and a lot – home automation devices

Go back about ten years and remember the great complication that was connecting two devices via Bluetooth. You had to turn on the radio for the protocol on your device (after all, if it were permanently on, the battery would be ruthlessly eaten in a moment), wait a long time while the connection with the other device was established and a few more minutes for the transfer of the file in question was completed, praying that nothing went wrong in the way (spoiler: most of the time it was).

This was at a time, however, that we used Bluetooth only for the eventual transfer of a photo or a music file and, for that, it worked relatively well. Today, however, the protocol serves a multitude of other tasks: it connects our AirPods (or any other wireless headphones) to smartphones and tablets, serves as a bridge between consoles and yours joysticks, makes connecting cell phones to cars in a safer direction and much, much more.

Considering all this, a market that basically depends on the existence (and continuous evolution) of Bluetooth to survive that of home automation devices, which communicate precisely through the protocol and need constant updates that allow for an ever lower battery drain and greater simplicity in their pairing processes. Because it is precisely in this segment that Bluetooth SIG, the standard's regulatory group, today presented a new protocol specification.

Bluetooth Mesh

O Bluetooth Mesh a variation of the “main” protocol, so to speak, that brings as its main difference the fact that it does not establish a direct connection between two points; instead, numerous devices serve as receivers and, at the same time, repeaters of the signal, creating a network ( Mesh) of interconnected devices that can even spread across an entire city. If you are familiar with Wi-Fi networks based on this guideline, which have been around for some time, you should know that it significantly expands the connection's reach area, in addition to lower deployment costs, greater fault tolerance and almost bandwidth nymph.

In practice, Bluetooth Mesh will potentially make your home automation devices talk to each other much more easily, especially if you live in a medieval castle in Transylvania or something like that. For example: let's say you have set up an action where, when you open the garage door (connected, of course) at seven in the evening, your smart tap already starts filling the bathtub on the other side of the house. At the moment, this communication is made through some external agent, such as HomeKit (which works based on a hub, such as an Apple TV, an iPad, or a HomePod in the future); with the new protocol, such an agent is no longer needed.

In addition, with the novelty, it opens up the possibility for large business buildings, areas of industry or even entire neighborhoods to gain a network of connected devices. Therefore, it would be possible for a factory, in theory, to monitor all of its equipment at all points in the manufacturing process of a single device; a neighborhood could set up light poles or smart hydrants that communicate with each other and can be controlled remotely, with granular control. The possibilities are basically endless.

The documentation regarding the specifications of the new network, as well as all the tools necessary to apply it to your products, are already available on the Bluetooth SIG website. It is good to note that Bluetooth Mesh works through the Bluetooth LE protocol and is compatible with version 4.0 or higher of the standard, so existing devices may receive the technology with a firmware update so there is potentially no need to update your arsenal of gadgets to enjoy the benefits of the future that are very promising.

via iClarified

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