Bluetooth is a ubiquitous communications protocol with countless applications in consumer electronics, healthcare, industrial automation, and asset tracking. With Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Mesh now added as a network layer, there are even greater opportunities for simultaneous control and monitoring of hundreds—even thousands—of devices. These new capabilities come with added complexity for developers, though.
Bluetooth’s many advantages have given rise to its now-ubiquitous presence. The Bluetooth standards are maintained and advanced by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), which as of this writing has some 33,000 members in 150 countries. The original standards specified point-to-point (1:1) connections, with multipoint (one-to-many or 1:m) and mesh (many-to-many or m:m) added later. Classic Bluetooth supports 1:1 and 1:m communications with both a Basic Rate (BR) and an Enhanced Data Rate (EDR). Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) is the only mode that supports m:m mesh networking.