Sunday, November 30, 2014

Bluetooth may be the key to your future smart home

Perhaps most important, Bluetooth is already in millions of products. The Bluetooth SIG, the industry trade group that promotes the technology, estimates that some 3 billion products will ship this year with Bluetooth radios. While nearly every new smartphone and tablet has Bluetooth, almost none have Z-Wave or ZigBee.

That ubiquity means consumers can control Bluetooth-based smart home devices directly with their phones or tablets, rather than having to go through a so-called bridge. In order to interact with non-Bluetooth home automation devices, users typically need a gadget that can translate between them. That bridge, or hub, makes ZigBee and Z-Wave devices more expensive and complicated than Bluetooth products, analysts say.

Thanks in part to such issues, only about 16 percent of U.S. homes with broadband have some kind of smart home product, noted Tom Kerber, a smart home analyst at research firm Parks Associates.

"It's an obstacle to buying these devices and using them in the way that people want to use them," Kerber said.

From the article "Bluetooth may be the key to your future smart home" by Troy Wolverton.


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