Bluetooth is leading the convergence of information and industries; and is taking the world to the next industrial revolution. The rapid rise of wireless technologies in industries as well as in homes has resulted in the concept of predictive maintenance in case of wireless sensor networks, improvements in system monitoring, etc.
Bluetooth based technologies are also entering the household markets through smart technology. The future of such technologies is very promising since the global Bluetooth smart and smart ready market is expected to reach USD 5.34 billion by 2023. It is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 2.23% between the years 2017 to 2023. In 2018, 650 million Bluetooth smart home devices will ship!
Most of the smart devices used in homes are based on Bluetooth 4.0 version. This version is also colloquially known as BLE version which means Bluetooth Low Energy. These versions are released by Bluetooth Special Interest Group (Bluetooth SIG). This technology is used in the novel applications in the healthcare, fitness, beacons, security and home entertainment industries.
Now, keeping aside all the statistical evidence for the development of the Bluetooth enabled devices and its market, let us first understand what are its benefits?
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Benefits of BLE Technology
Besides providing wireless connections in its possible range, it also has other fundamental benefits like:
- It is simple to set up such technology.
As the point suggests, setting up a connection between two devices is quite simple. The basic functionality of this operation is to make one device discoverable while the other one scans.
Once this happens and a PIN is entered, the devices are paired! See? It’s that simple!
- It is Universal.
Bluetooth represents a standard that is universally accepted. Due to this ubiquitous acceptance of the technology, you can be assured that your device will have use and compatibility anywhere in the world.
- You can have your own personal area network.
You can indeed create a personal area network of your own since this technology enables a connection of up to 7 devices within a range of 30 feet. Multiple PANs can also be set up!
- It is scalable.
This protocol can be updated at regular intervals of time and with ease. Each upgrade brings in new features and is generally compatible with older versions.
Currently, the latest version of Bluetooth developed is Bluetooth 5.0.
This technology uses low power signals and hence it results in less power consumption. Its version Bluetooth 4.0 which is a BLE version is very widely used in smart devices.
Regardless of what it provides its users, it is quite inexpensive. This is a positive factor that enables everyone to use this technology!
This protocol is very secure because it is not always broadcasting, like a Wi-Fi connection and also because to pair two devices, it first asks for a PIN.
The PIN in a way authorizes the connection and adds another layer of security on the connection.
- Mesh Network Format Support
Starting in June 2017, the BLE protocol supports mesh networks. This feature has enabled Bluetooth based devices to be efficient in large environments to stay connected.
Moreover, all these benefits have resulted in the wider acceptance of Bluetooth-based technologies in homes, offices, industries and have also penetrated into our daily lives.
Diving a little bit into statistics again shows that the smart home market share did $23.4 billion in business in 2015 and is expected to reach up to $ 58.68 billion by 2020.
Since here we are talking about Bluetooth technology in homes, we would be mostly talking about the BLE version of the protocol.
As the title of the blog suggests, there are a lot of aspects this technology is used in smart homes. A few important as mentioned below:
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Uses of Bluetooth-based Technology in smart homes:
- Electricity Consumption
Bluetooth powered meters make sure that the digital electricity meters run error-free and accurately. The Bluetooth low energy technology is responsible for ensuring this.
You can use these meters with a variety of home appliances like heating devices, electric cookers, AC systems, etc. A practical example of this can be something like this- Using your Bluetooth meter, you can turn off any such device without physically being present there. This way a considerable amount of energy is saved!
- Automate Home Health
A smart home has a lot of smart devices that are connected with each other. In such a network, Bluetooth medical devices like heart monitors, body sensors, glucose monitor, and other wireless medical devices can easily be operated remotely.
You can also easily track workouts in the home gym if you connect it with heart rate monitors and also tell you how many calories you burned and other such information. The medical data is updated each day a person is at home. Amazing, isn’t it?
- Automate Home Security
This purpose is very crucial and is widely used in many households today. When it comes to security, Bluetooth is usually used in smart locks. These locks are, as the names indicate, ‘smart’.
They provide multiple modes of access and are very secure. A dedicated application made for such locks make sure that the user can effectively monitor and manage the activities of the lock.
Bluetooth smart locks unlock the minute you are in the range of the lock. This way you don’t need to have keys to open the door to your home. These locks are as strong as any regular lock but also provide some added security due to it smart features.
You may know such locks by the names of August, KeyNIE, Yale, etc. These locks constantly keep themselves updated and have simple, easy and efficient features to provide the best possible security to the user.
- Routine Task Automation
There are many routine tasks that you may want to automate. Tasks like- turning the lights on/off, controlling the music on the player, opening/closing the garage door, controlling the vacuum cleaners in the house, switching the AC on/off and controlling the temperature, etc. can be controlled with the help of Bluetooth technology from afar.
Currently, there are a lot of manufacturers already working on such systems on a large scale and the days are not far when an entire house will be functioning on smart technology.
- Home Sensors
Many homes have fire and smoke sensors installed in them that activate when they sense an excess of any of the respective things. But these sensing systems can also be operated by Bluetooth technology.
Another type of sensors known as motion sensors lets the owner know about any activities happening in the vicinity of their house.
These motion sensors can also capture changes in the temperature and light too! Then a controlling device is connected to the motion sensor, that controls the lamps according to the amount of the light in the room.
The same can be done to detect movements inside and outside the house.
These are some of the ways in which the Bluetooth technology are and can be used. This makes them an undeniable part of our lives. The coming of the age inventions in this field is surely going to make human life extremely easy and convenient.