Since its arrival in 1998, Bluetooth has evolved into one of today’s most influential short range wireless technologies. ABI Research, a technology market intelligence company, recently released a report titled Bluetooth’s Role in the Internet of Everything. The report discusses how the growth of Bluetooth and its expansion into new markets will help bring the Internet of Everything (IoE) into reality. ABI estimates that the installed base of Bluetooth enabled devices reached 3.5 billion in 2012 and will surge to over 10 billion by 2018.
Not only has the number of Bluetooth enabled devices significantly increased, but the innovative technology has also advanced to new platforms. Bluetooth Version 4.0 (BT v4.0) is the driving force behind this expansion and is increasing uptake in phones, tablets, etc. Dual-mode Bluetooth v4.0 or Bluetooth Smart Ready devices are compatible with virtually any Bluetooth-enabled product. According to a Bluetooth press release, “Since the introduction of the iPhone 4s in 2011, Apple methodically turned almost every one of their devices into Bluetooth Smart Ready hubs. These are ready to connect with the over 250 million Bluetooth Smart appcessories shipping in 2013 and nearly a billion expected to ship in 2016.” The growing number of Smart Ready devices fuels the development of innovative Bluetooth Smart peripheral devices. While Bluetooth v4.0 growth has been especially strong in the consumer electronics and health and fitness markets, progress can be found in other platforms such as home automation, automotive, and several others.
The emerging Bluetooth v4.0 ecosystem knows no bounds. Over the next few years several Bluetooth Smart products and applications will launch, which will stimulate the growth of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) devices in many new markets. BLE devices provide reduced power consumption and long range at a lower cost. The development of these ultra-low power wireless technologies will enable the IoE, which will connect people, technology, data, and everyday objects, creating a network of valuable and applicable connections. Developers looking to embed Bluetooth into their products are leveraging Laird’s robust Bluetooth Product lines in order to take full advantage of the rapidly expanding market.