Bluetooth Mesh Network Promoting the Development of the Internet of Things (IoT)

Transmission distance limitation is a common problem for the existing wireless networks: if it is necessary to transmit the information over a longer distance, a larger power is required, i.e., more power will be consumed. This is a technical bottleneck for the IoT that requires minimizing the power consumption. A new Bluetooth Mesh Network technology will solve the problems of transmission distance versus power consumption to bring new opportunities for the IoT development.

Bluetooth Mesh Network enables all things to be interconnected


In spite of featuring in low power consumption, the conventional Bluetooth technology still uses a point-to-point (P2P) transmission method; that is, each device is a node and two nodes are connected in series into a single point-to-point communication network. However, the point-to-point connection mode will be limited by the transmission distance.

The Bluetooth Mesh Network technology, promoted by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (Bluetooth SIG), allows each Bluetooth device to become a single node in a large network and enables all nodes to be able to be connected with all nodes in the topology and each node to be able to be included in or excluded from the network at any time, which means that the size of the network can be expanded flexibly. Therefore, the mesh network can be used to indirectly expand the range and size of Bluetooth transmission, so that it will not be limited by the P2P transmission distance, more diverse application scenarios are enabled and a more compact IoT communication system can be built indirectly.

With a mesh topology, different from the traditional network that requires collecting all data for the information exchange and transmission of the network equipment via a hub or router, the Bluetooth Mesh Network technology can directly or indirectly transmit the information to the equipment required to receive the information via a Bluetooth device. This network architecture is relatively stable, so the entire system will never fail to operate smoothly due to a failure of single equipment. Since Bluetooth Mesh Network transmits the information from one to each of all equipment in the network with the Flooding method, this requires less memory and lower processing power as compared with the routing transmission method, which means that this method is more energy-saving.

Although the standard for this new Bluetooth Mesh Network technology is still being formulated, products with similar proprietary technologies have been put in the market. The ilumi LED Smartbulbs, which was just awarded the Outstanding Product by the Bluetooth SIG, is an advanced wireless lighting system built with simple Bluetooth connections. The ilumi utilizes the interoperability of the ilumi MeshTek™ controls lights with the Bluetooth Mesh Network technology and illuminates the entire living room and commercial space by connecting a number of lights.

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The ilumi LED Smartbulbs with the ilumi MeshTek ™ Bluetooth Mesh Network technology can be connected to each other in series. Therefore, as long as they are set and grouped, you can turn on the lights in all rooms just by pressing a switch (which can be an actual switch or a virtual switch in a mobile App) when going home, or turn off the lights in all rooms just by pressing a switch when leaving home, or turn off the lights in the living room in the bedroom, before sleeping. Through the Internet, you can also remotely control the lights in your home, creating the impression that someone is at home to avoid the intrusion of burglars; or after leaving home, if you remember that you have forgot to turn off the lights in your home, you can fix this problem even if you stay abroad with this smart bulb. For this smart bulb system, you can also set each light or a group of lights with an App, set the desired color and brightness of the light bulb where even the lightness of the light bulb can be changed with the music and the lights can be turned on automatically to create a comfortable, romantic living space by sensing whether you are at home.

In addition to the applications of light bulb, quite a lot of the IoT applications can apply the Bluetooth Mesh Network technology, such as security and prevention, smart appliances, wearable devices, home automation, etc. Moreover, if the Bluetooth Mesh Network is used in hotels and business buildings, more of its benefits will be shown. Try to imagine that when all the lights in a building are controlled via Bluetooth Mesh Network or when the temperature data of all rooms or areas is transmitted and collected with a wireless method, what a convenience it will be while unnecessary waste of energy can be avoided!

The current IoT device is limited by the transmission distance and the power consumption, and therefore there are some obstacles in its promotion. However, if the Bluetooth Mesh Network technology is used, the transmission distance of a network can be extended infinitely while the low power consumption can be maintained to completely solve the problem that the existing Bluetooth device provides insufficient transmission distance. This technology will enable more infinite possibilities for the IoT applications.

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