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Bluetooth low energy should contribute to WSN via remote monitoring

November 3, 2010

This is the concluding part of my discussion with Mike Foley, executive director, Bluetooth SIG, which looks at how the market for in-home wireless in smart energy will be developing in the years ahead, as well as the scope in wireless sensor networks (WSN).

Focus of Bluetooth Smart Energy Group
First, a bit about the focus of Bluetooth Smart Energy Group and what it has achieved so far.

The Smart Energy Study Group, includes major players like Emerson, and illustrates the Bluetooth SIG’s commitment to this market. The Study Group is working closely with other standards bodies to help define future global standards for smart energy and the products that form that ecosystem.

Foley said: “Within the next few years, your utility will start to replace your existing meters and you will be able to buy household appliances that can connect to your smart meter. The Bluetooth SIG is working with the industry to ensure that such a connection is cost effective, reliable and secure.

“Currently, Bluetooth is used around the world in smart energy applications — from simple energy monitors to complex mesh networks controlling solar arrays. With a ubiquitous presence in mobile phones, it also provides an ecosystem for controlling smart energy devices that users already own. The group has come together to make a strong case for Bluetooth in the smart energy market, and to push for next steps in this growing industry.”

Market for in-home wireless
Given this scenario, it will be interesting to survey how the market for in-home wireless in smart energy will be developing in the years ahead.

According to Foley, remote control and home automation have a bright future in the smart energy space. If Bluetooth is selected for the connectivity link to appliances, the integration of a smart ecosystem throughout the home will be significantly easier and faster. Once home appliances start to connect, they will likely also require their own wireless connections.

Zpryme Research has predicted that by 2015, 19.2 percent of washing machines, 17.4 percent of refrigerators and 17.3 percent of dryers sold in the US will include smart connections. Also, Whirlpool has publicly announced that by 2015, all of its electronically controlled appliances will be capable of receiving and responding to signals from smart grids.

Scope for wireless sensor networks
Where do things such as scope for WSNs, or even wireless USB stand, if at all?

Foley added, ‘Bluetooth low energy technology, which will be used in the Bluetooth SIG’s smart energy implementation, will be a significant contributor to the overall wireless sensor network (WSN) market.”

According to Kirsten West, principal analyst with West Technology Research, Bluetooth low energy will likely represent nearly half of all shipments in 2015. If Bluetooth technology is adopted as the short range wireless standard, Bluetooth low energy will contribute to the WSN through remote monitoring — i.e., temperature monitoring, home automation, in home displays, etc., and more.

Finally, where do the other competing technologies stand?

Foley concluded: Though some technologies may appear to have a head start here, the reality is that the long term success of the standards in this realm remains to be seen. Bluetooth is a proven, globally accepted short range wireless standard. Proven in its use cases, ubiquity, and ease of compatibility.

“Additionally, Bluetooth stands apart from competitors in how it diminishes frequency issues, which is a challenge most competitors are still trying to overcome.

“While I believe Bluetooth technology has the most potential to be the go-to wireless standard for smart energy, I do believe that there is room – necessity even – for all types of technologies in this space.”

  1. Sweets in bulk
    January 30, 2011 at 12:52 am

    Technology is the usage and knowledge of tools, techniques, crafts, systems or methods of organization in order to solve a problem or create an artistic perspective. Bluetooth is a proprietary open wireless technology standard for exchanging data over short distances (using short wavelength radio transmissions) from fixed and mobile devices, creating personal area networks with high levels of security.

    Created by telecoms vendor Ericsson in 1994, it was originally conceived as a wireless alternative to RS-232 data cables. It can connect several devices, overcoming problems of synchronization.

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