The Bluetooth short-range wireless technology is set to play a much bigger role in IoT with release by the Bluetooth SIG of new architecture that enables Bluetooth Internet gateway functionality to be incorporated into a router. This will mean that Bluetooth enabled devices, for example a light bulb, will be able to send information directly into the cloud and be controlled over the Internet, without the need for a smartphone, and in a standardised manner.
The Bluetooth SIG says: “This essential communication capability is the next step to enabling the IoT by giving people and systems control of sensors regardless of proximity.” It has released a toolkit to show developers, makers, hackers and OEMs how to implement the gateway functionality.
The Bluetooth SIG said the new architecture would meet an immediate need for smart home developers looking to create a hub for all the sensors in a home or to integrate gateway functionality into existing products. It will also create competition to proprietary gateways like the Apple HomeKit.
There are many Bluetooth enabled products available today that allow remote access: set-top boxes, TVs, routers and hubs including Google OnHub, OORT [A technology based on Bluetooth Smart that allows for direct smartphone-to-device communication], and others. Steve Hegenderfer, director of developer programs for the Bluetooth SIG, interviewed on Slashgear said the toolkit would standardise how companies could integrate gateway functionality for Bluetooth devices into their own devices and products.
“The Bluetooth Internet gateway architecture provides a standard way for any developer to create this gateway functionality. Routers, thermostats, security systems – the always on, always connected infrastructure in the home – can now speak to and control tiny, low power sensors and relay that information to the cloud, providing control from anywhere,” he said.
Release of the gateway architecture follows release in late 2014 of a set of RESTFul APIs for Bluetooth that could be embedded into gateways, smart TVs and other systems to enable them to communicate with and control Bluetooth devices.
In early 2015 the Bluetooth SIG also released an HTTP Proxy Service specification. According to a blog on the Bluetooth SIG web site, “With HPS, manufacturers can give Bluetooth Smart devices the ability to ‘reach out’ and communicate with standard web servers in the cloud. For example, you could have temperature sensors positioned all around your smart home reporting temperature readings to a cloud-based energy efficiency service.”