According to the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), the Bluetooth wireless protocol now supports mesh networking, enabling many-to-many (m:m) device communications for building automation.

“In the same way the connected device market experienced rapid growth after the introduction of Bluetooth Low Energy, we believe Bluetooth mesh networking can play a vital role in helping early stage markets, such as building automation and wireless sensor networks, experience more rapid growth,” said Mark Powell, executive director for Bluetooth SIG. 

Commercial building is a major growth market that demands true industrial-grade solutions such as this new standard.

According to a spokesperson for Bluetooth SIG, "New control and automation systems, from lighting to heating/cooling to security, are about to make homes and offices a lot smarter. Bluetooth mesh networking supports these smart buildings, enabling tens, hundreds or even thousands of wireless devices to reliably and securely communicate with each other. "

Mesh networks are useful for many reasons including having the ability to allow data to travel long distances and to also hop devices, meaning that a device in one corner of a building can send a message that reaches smart devices in all the far nooks and crannies of that same building. 

On top of that, mesh networks need very little energy to run so they can stay running for longer without needing its batteries to be replaced as frequently.

This is important in large building that could have hundreds or even thousands of these devices like temperature sensors that will need to be replaced far less often.

“Within the building automation market, there is a growing focus on connected lighting and the role it can play as a platform for providing automation services throughout a facility,” said Szymon Slupik, president and CTO of Silvair and chairman of the mesh working group within the Bluetooth SIG. 

“A smart lighting platform built on top of Bluetooth mesh networking can also support asset tracking, point of interest, and way-finding services,” says Slupik.

“These value-added capabilities are part of why we believe Bluetooth is an ideal technology for enabling a mesh network.”