Bluetooth Mesh, in a layman’s term!
As soon as one says Bluetooth, the first thing that comes to the mind is the phone. It is one such device that is used by everyone in their day to day life. The classic Bluetooth had revolutionized the way the files were shared between two computing devices. It provided a means of wireless sharing of the files. Over time, this became the default way of sharing files across all the computing devices that supports Bluetooth.
Later on, the company behind the Bluetooth technology went ahead and introduced Bluetooth Low Energy and Bluetooth Mesh. This was a revolutionary step that led to the creation of many small embedded devices running on a battery. Before which the devices powered by a battery could not have any effective means of wireless communications as most of the existing protocols were draining the batteries.
Bluetooth Mesh is a computer mesh networking standard based on Bluetooth Low Energy that allows for many-to-many communication over Bluetooth radio. Mesh addresses a lot of drawbacks associated with the classic Bluetooth.
If one has used classic Bluetooth, then the first thing is to pair the two devices and once the connection is established files are exchanged. At a time, only two devices could be connected and to send a file to multiple devices the same steps had to be repeated one after the other. This is where the Bluetooth Mesh could solve the inherent problem with the simultaneous connections to multiple devices.
With the increase in the number of devices connected to the Internet of Things, the Bluetooth Mesh has been slowly on the rise. Numerous devices operate on Bluetooth Low energy including the Fitbands, Water Purifiers, Speakers, Earphones etc. The Bluetooth classic is now replaced with the BLE in the smartphones too. This means keeping Bluetooth switched on would not drain the phone battery any more.
Bluetooth Mesh seems to be an ideal technology that can be deployed for the IoT projects. More and more devices supporting BLE makes it easier to add all the devices into the mesh network. Even the latest phones supporting BLE Mesh implies that the smartphones can be added into the mesh and it can potentially have access to all the devices in the mesh. It can control, extract data in a secured manner. Security is one of the primary aspects that Bluetooth has focused on bringing the mesh concept into wireless devices.
One of the interesting applications of the Bluetooth Mesh could be swarm drones. The swarm drones can do a lot of tasks which lone drone may not be able to execute. It might be transporting material from one place to another. The lifting power of a drone may not be sufficient enough but collectively as a swarm, they can execute many complex tasks. Its coordinated synchronous teamwork can achieve the unthinkable.
The other such examples where the drones could become handy is for the indoor positioning applications. Parking in the malls seems to be challenging, to remember the exact location of the parked car. Drones deployed in a car parking lot in a shopping mall potentially could guide the user to the location of the car.
Mesh connected sensors can enable the data exchanges with ease to the central hub without wireless coverage. The sensor networks deployed in a large farm could be a good use case. This can lead to the automated ways of farming and increase the yield of the crops.
At present, the phones don’t support the mesh protocol but it is still possible to connect a phone to the mesh sensors through proxy connections. There could be a lot of interesting applications that could be built with the help of Bluetooth mesh.
Many IoT related products are coming up in the markets that work on the principle of Bluetooth Mesh. One such interesting application could be earbuds, a pair of devices receiving the music in synchronization.
Bluetooth is continuously innovating and adapting to the latest trends in the market. Bluetooth Mesh technology is yet another innovation which has the potentials to solve a lot of problems in different domains, be it consumer electronics, defence, aerospace, manufacturing etc. There are already many devices that are lined up waiting to be used by the masses.