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Bluetooth Mesh with IoT Applications Achieves Connected Lighting
Bluetooth technology has long been one of the most widely used wireless communication standards. From the perspective of market and industrial trends, Bluetooth technology applications became mainstream due to the popularity of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) consumer products such as wearable devices, mice, and joysticks. There was also the cost advantage of BLE semiconductor materials, as well as having built-in BLE GATT Profile (Generic Attribute) in most mobile devices and the BLE HID Profile (Human Interface Device) standard protocol in PC systems.
As the Internet of Things (IoT) technologies mature, low-power consumption and long operating life have become essential for wireless communication. On 13 July 2017, the Bluetooth Special Internet Group (Bluetooth SIG) published the Bluetooth Mesh Profile specification, and its influence on industrial IoT applications has since gradually increased. The emergence of decentralized systems also plays a role where the concept of so-called hub devices is replaced by individual devices cooperating and communicating with each other. It runs contrary to the traditional practice of a controller hub giving an order to transmit data or control activities through the control line and the sensor or the driver. All of this shows the unstoppable trend of BLE charging ahead from the mobile device market to industrial IoT applications. In the past, the wireless communication protocol relatively well known to the lighting industry was Zigbee. However, a gateway or a router was required for the interconnection of the Zigbee protocol frame and the mobile phone or the information system, resulting in higher costs of the wafer and system. With Bluetooth technology, controllers or gateways were no longer required. It also made possible direct interaction between lighting systems and handheld devices, which was a major challenge in the past. In addition, network performance can be optimized via the data packet retransmission mechanism and the adjustable packet time-to-live (TTL) parameter, in accordance with the size of the venue. From a user’s point of view, the greatest Bluetooth advantage is the ability to read device data or control luminaires. From an interior designer’s perspective, Bluetooth Mesh technology allows not compromising designs with complicated wiring deployment work. From the viewpoint of a venue setter, Bluetooth Mesh applications provide a solution featuring easy maintenance, replacement, and construction. Committed to achieving our vision of supporting better lifestyles through smart buildings, Delta has been devoted to the R&D of Bluetooth Mesh software technology since 2015. The specification released by the Bluetooth SIG in July 2017 facilitated Delta’s intelligent connected lighting solutions in fulfilling clients’ requirements in building automation and industrial automation applications. At the end of 2018, Delta further obtained Bluetooth 5 and Bluetooth Mesh Protocol Profile Certification. The company’s related hardware solutions have also obtained CE/FCC/TELEC/NCC/SRRC certifications, attesting to its determination to take the lead in the smart lighting field. According to the Complete Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecast released by CISCO in 2019 on global IP traffic, the demand for mobile devices continues to grow, and IoT applications remain extensive. The report forecasts that globally, there will be 18.3 billion IPv6-capable fixed and mobile devices by 2022, up from 5.8 billion in 2017, for a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26%. In the foreseeable future, IPv6 is bound to be one of the important driving forces for networked applications. As Bluetooth's Internet Protocol Support Profile (IPSP) can connect to IPv6, in the future a Bluetooth Mesh IoT device will not necessarily rely on a smart phone or tablet to connect to an information system. The IoT device would connect via communication equipment such as routers using communication protocols and software technologies for different sectors to meet the application needs of clients. Characteristically, the Bluetooth Mesh Profile has a retransmission mechanism and a set lifecycle for packets (a packet will automatically disappear after being delivered several times), which can be adjusted according to the needs of different fields. In future technological development, knowing how to set these detailed parameters will be a challenge to overcome when deploying systems. In wired applications, IP networks such as Modbus/IP, BACNet/IP, and others, can connect to the Bluetooth Mesh Profile system, enabling further integration with the building automation system. This would achieve a smart networked application environment for clients and better address people's daily needs for convenience, efficiency, and saving energy. Employing Bluetooth Mesh, Delta’s intelligent connected lighting solutions have created new applications for different fields. For example, a positioning system in a hospital makes possible medical equipment and asset management and safe care for patients, enhancing the medical service quality of the hospital. For more details about other related applications and benefits, please see the articles below. Related articles: Intelligent Connected Lighting Enables Human-oriented Digitally-controlled Environment Smart Lighting Maximizes Management Efficiency in Diverse Venue Applications
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