ALLOW ME TO EXPLAIN…
DATA SPEEDS ARE MUCH SLOWER THAN A WI-FI NETWORK, BUT THE USES OF THIS TECH ARE SOMEWHAT DIFFERENT
Bluetooth’s come a long way since we ‘Bluejacked’ rude messages to people on in traffic
and pompous businessmen used it to shout things into their Jawbone headsets. But it’s still very much a one-to-one deal: your phone to your Fitbit, your mouse to your laptop, your iPad to your headphones.
There’s power in numbers, though, and Bluetooth devices will soon be teaming up to do far more than you ever thought possible. It’s called Bluetooth Mesh and it works by connecting multiple gadgets together, like the way a Sonos system or Google WiFi works but over Bluetooth rather than Wi-Fi. That means the data speeds are significantly slower – a relatively snail-like 1Mbps – but the uses of this tech are somewhat different.
Imagine every appliance in your home is part of a Bluetooth Mesh network. As soon as you walk in the front door, the light in the hall detects the presence of the phone in your pocket and switches itself on, while 10 metres away the kettle has clocked that you’re home and started to boil. In fact, range is no longer an issue with a mesh network, because each gadget within it acts as a stepping stone to carry the signal over much longer distances.
The real benefit of using Bluetooth is that it’s standardised, so once you’ve got a network set up, anything with Bluetooth can take advantage of it, even if it’s in an office or public building.