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Expect better, faster Bluetooth in 2016 thanks to IoT

Not only will Bluetooth Smart devices get a 4x range boost, they'll also work as a mesh network for the fast growing IoT market.
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Written by Kevin Tofel, Contributing Writer on

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) wants its wireless technology to be the lifeblood of smart objects. So next year, Bluetooth Smart devices will send information farther and faster.

Details of the group's 2016 roadmap were made public on Wednesday explaining what to expect.

The overall range of Bluetooth Smart devices will expand four time over, for example, and data transfer speeds will be doubled over today's devices. More importantly, particularly for small IoT devices, the additional throughput and speed won't require any addition power over current wireless devices.

Even better: Next year, Bluetooth Smart gains mesh networking features.

That means you can have a wide range of Bluetooth objects in the home or office and worry far less about overall network coverage for them. Each device can repeat network signals to others on the network.

There are a dizzying number of wireless technologies in the growing IoT market, ranging from Zigbee and Z-Wave to Thread and more.

But more commonly known radio protocols, such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are more familiar to consumers and businesses alike. To help grow the IoT market -- expected to top 6.3 billion devices next year -- the Bluetooth SIG is smartly changing with the times so that it can stay in the forefront of people's minds when it comes to smart connected devices.

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