A new IoT gateway design could be Bluetooth's ticket to the cloud

The Bluetooth SIG's gateway toolkit is designed to link Bluetooth networks with the wider Internet

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group wants to raise Bluetooth's profile in the Internet of Things with a toolkit for building gateways between the short-range wireless network and the Internet.

The toolkit should make it easier to build gateways that collect data wirelessly from Bluetooth devices and then transfer it to the cloud via Ethernet, mobile broadband or other networks.

A basic use of gateways could be medical devices automatically sending and receiving health information from doctors far away. Light usage data could also be aggregated from many Bluetooth-connected smart bulbs in a building, then sent via a gateway to a cloud service for analysis.

A toolkit with a reference architecture, firmware and a driver will allow developers to quickly develop such gateways, said Steve Hegenderfer, director of developer programs at Bluetooth SIG.

The gateways could be built on devices as cheap as a single-board computer. Hegenderfer's team built a router on a $35 Raspberry Pi 2, which already has Bluetooth and an Ethernet port.

The gateway architecture is designed for aggregation of data from sensors in a large mesh of connected devices, Hegenderfer said. It's possible to collect data from Bluetooth devices with Internet-connected smartphones and tablets, but the gateways would operate on a much larger scale. They would also require less human intervention to collect and transmit data.

Some of the first gateways will appear in hubs for smart homes. Later ones will go into industrial equipment for purposes of tracking and asset management, Hegenderfer said. Many routers and other Internet-connected devices already have a Bluetooth interface, and installing the toolkit will make it active, he said.

The gateway architecture is part of Bluetooth SIG's goal to grow in the IoT and home automation markets. It is also a way to extend the range of Bluetooth data transfers beyond the wireless range of Bluetooth itself. The next Bluetooth protocol, which will be in devices next year, will transfer data at 2Mbps (bits per second) and have four times the range of the current Version 4.2 protocol. The gateway design will work with the current Bluetooth, and with the next protocol it will gain new features in areas like security.

About 3 billion Bluetooth-connected devices shipped last year. Analysts are predicting 25 billion or more connected devices in use by 2020, and the Bluetooth SIG sees a large growth opportunity as that market grows.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?