The Internet of Things (IoT) is becoming part of the every day fabric of modern life but let us examine one of the key building blocks that makes its adoption possible. Much of our tech today relies on connectivity through Bluetooth. This 20-year-old technology has truly come of age with 4 billion connected devices built and shipped in 2018.
Phones, tablets and PCs have become ‘technology life portals’ through which people experience everything around them. Bluetooth technology is amazingly native in all of them and serves multiple usages.
Bluetooth delights with clear, quick and convenient access to music and entertainment. It has also assisted the growth and boom of most home entertainment devices that use it: such as TVs, media players, remote controls, digital assistants (such as Google Home, Alexa, etc.), Virtual Reality devices and of course gaming consoles.
Bluetooth Low Energy connects billions of everyday devices to our phones and tablets, creating new opportunities and markets. From common everyday household items to health and wellbeing devices, Bluetooth is the common thread across some of the most innovative business ‘start-ups’.
Sport and fitness
Fitness trackers have grown into a huge new market in the past five years. These devices help us plan and track fitness levels and athletic performance and work toward a healthier lifestyle by pushing our activity levels. This information is then transferred via Bluetooth in real-time to our smart watches or even coaches and trainers.
The medical industry is taking full advantage of the power of Bluetooth with many new and innovative devices such as blood glucose monitors, pulse oximeters, asthma inhalers, and other wearable medical devices that use Bluetooth technology to help administer medication, diagnose injuries, and transmit critical information securely from patients to providers.
Bluetooth makes the IoT accessible to everyone by connecting the connected home and powering remote control management of devices from fridges, smart bins, toothbrushes, TVs, gaming consoles, coffee makers, and children’s toys, to name a few.
We are more connected to our cars than ever before, bringing new levels of safety to our roads and more enjoyment to the in-car experience. Bluetooth in-car infotainment systems enable hands-free calling and audio streaming, helping reduce distracted driving and provide a safer way to stay connected on the road. Bluetooth comes standard in nearly every new vehicle – 86% will have it installed as standard in 2018.
Retailers use Bluetooth to communicate with shoppers’ phones. The release of Bluetooth MESH and recent advancements in Bluetooth Broadcasting make intelligent building automation at scale a reality, even in commercial and industrial environments where reliability and security requirements are highest.
With whole-building coverage now a possibility, Bluetooth is expanding the definition of the smart building enhancing the visitor experience, increasing productivity, and optimising space utilisation.
Phones and tablets are replacing on-machine displays, provisioning sensor networks, and controlling factory floors. Bluetooth technology powers wireless sensor networks to enable predictive maintenance and detect machine failures before they occur, improving system monitoring.
Bluetooth connects residents and visitors to museums, airports, and infrastructure through their phones, helping propel cities into a more connected future. Beacons create rich, personalised experiences at concerts, museums, sports clubs and tourist locations. It also powers a growing bike-sharing industry that is changing how residents travel and cutting pollution.
Smarter solutions help officials connect city infrastructures in ways never imagined and gather data to guide informed policy making.
The fully automated smart home has remained elusive, until now. MESH provides the wireless connectivity platform that enables automatic control of lights, thermostats, smoke detectors, cameras, door bells, locks, and more. Bluetooth is now helping deliver the promise of the smart home for the future.
So that is a brief look at the ways this technology is far more central to our everyday lives than many of us think. Bluetooth is so much more than the tech behind that small speaker or set of earbuds we listen to our music on in the morning. It is part of the fabric of today’s technology and where the future most certainly lies.
Matt Pluckrose is managing director of Desktop Ideas