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Bluetooth upgrade makes it better for smart homes
July 23, 2017, 2:41 pm

With its latest upgrade, Bluetooth is making a good case for itself in the long-running battle between wireless standards to be the one and only to connect all the smart devices in your home.

Bluetooth SIG, the group that oversees the Bluetooth standard, last week released the specification for Bluetooth Mesh that allows low-power Bluetooth devices to create and act like a mesh network.

Mesh networks help data travel longer distances by hopping between devices sharing the same wireless signal, with each device retransmitting the data until it reaches the recipient. This is particularly useful for smart home tech, because it allows a device in one corner of the home to send a message that reaches smart devices in all the far nooks and crannies of a house.

Unfortunately, not all existing Bluetooth devices are going to suddenly get these abilities. Bluetooth Mesh can only be added to devices that already support Bluetooth 4.0 or 5.0, which means new hardware is not required, but whether current devices receive it would depend on if their manufacturers release an update. So there is a good chance your next Bluetooth device will support mesh, but there is no guarantee your current ones will.

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