By Fox Van Allen, Techlicious

There’s big news in the world of smart home networking from the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG). Last week, the SIG announced the formation of a working group to create a mesh networking standard for Bluetooth Smart, allowing it to better compete with other home smart networking standards. The group will consist of over 80 member companies from different industries, all working together to build a common platform.

What’s the big deal about mesh networking? Simply put, a mesh network allows devices to communicate with each other directly, rather than through a central hub like a router. That way, your phone can communicate directly with your smart thermostat, which can communicate directly with your appliances, which can communicate directly with your smart watch, which can communicate directly with your smartphone. If one device in the mesh network fails, the rest of the devices can continue to work together. This allows for better range and better network reliability – both important factors in building any smart home setup.

Currently, the INSTEON, Z-Wave and ZigBee home automation standards all have mesh networking. The addition of mesh networking to Bluetooth Smart will challenge these competitors’ advantage in the race to become the standard.

The Bluetooth Smart Mesh Working Group expects to move into prototype testing later this year. Look for the Bluetooth Special Interest Group to then adopt an official standard in 2016, clearing the way for Bluetooth Smart-enabled devices.

To learn more about Bluetooth Smart, visit the official Bluetooth website.

[Internet of Things via Shutterstock]

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