Are you familiar with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)? If not, then you should be. Our experts at smarthomeSAGEprediect that BLE will be the network protocol of the future, the technology that connects smart devices over great distances and allows them to communicate with one another. As we gradually transition into worldwide smart homes, this will be a necessary technology in virtually every home.
While there are many options, we predict that BLE will win for the following reasons:
- Low Energy: Although this protocol is not the most efficient, it requires far less energy than WiFi (the incumbent network protocol) or regular Bluetooth.
- Mesh Network Adoption: BLE is in the process of moving toward a mesh network style (instead of the star network or direct-to-hub connection). This will effectively increase the range of the network as each connected device will, in turn, become a range booster.
- Widespread Adoption: Almost all smart devices already have Bluetooth. There is limited space in a device for additional hardware, and there would be limited integration and change required by cellphone
The only major drawback that could undermine BLE is that it uses the same frequency as WiFi. As more homes with more devices (the most popular being smart door locks and smart thermostats) connect to the same bandwidth, it would slow performance in big cities, where there is a high concentration of people and devices.
Yet, WiFi introduces too much interference from devices such as laptops and smart phones, and more advanced smart devices will also require the home to adopt more powerful network protocols as devices offer more functionality(such as doorbell video cameras, which need to transfer video data instantly when someone pushes the doorbell button). Despite BLE’s drawbacks, it is still the most desirable protocol as we move toward the future of smart homes.
Which protocol do you think will win the smart home race?