Bluetooth at CES and in 2017 - An IoT for Everyone Panel

This year, we had the privilege to host some of the top leaders from the associations, companies, standards, and technologies that are building the Internet of Things (IoT) in a three-panel speaking track at CES 2017. As the IoT continues to grow (and rapidly!), the fight to win the consumer is building unscalable walls between use cases, crippling adoption, and limiting innovation. In our sessions, we focused on how to overcome these challenges by working together to put the consumer first. We wanted to know: how can we make the IoT accessible to everyone?

Session 1: The Trillion-Dollar Opportunity

First up, the Trillion-Dollar Opportunity. In this panel, the Bluetooth SIG, ABI Research, Texas Instruments, and Under Armour came together to discuss future trends, consumer demand, and meeting expectations for the IoT. The key takeaways of this panel were clear: we need to create a solid architecture for the IoT, we need to prioritize security, and we need to set standards to ensure interoperability. While the panel was in agreement these were the clear steps to success, it was unclear who would lead the way. It may very well fall to trade associations like the SIG, who work with a variety of companies and in different verticals, to provide the tools, programs, and resources to test and build devices that can work together and give consumers the experiences they demand.

We encourage our member companies to take advantage of our tools and participate in our nonprofit testing event, UnPlugFest, to boost interoperability of Bluetooth devices. We also have a number of working groups that take on the biggest industry challenges, including security, to ensure the quality of the Bluetooth specification and make the Bluetooth experience across all devices the best that it can be. As the panel said, it is the industry’s responsibility to work together – as developers, chip manufactures, and standards organizations – to guarantee the quality our consumers deserve.

Session 2: Making the IoT Connectionless

In our second panel, we were joined on stage by Google, GE Lighting, and BeaconGrid to talk about making the IoT connectionless. By this, we mean that connectivity shouldn’t only be about opening an app and pairing devices. Instead, connectivity should be an all-the-time thing that is less about asking for information, and more about relevant information being delivered to the consumer without action. Real-life scenarios were discussed, including the potential for first responders to have pin-point location accuracy during a disaster or for the blind to be able to navigate through a busy city street.

This lead to a bigger question from our audience: if I can always be found, what happens to my privacy? Google’s Scott Jenson pointed out that some organizations are already experimenting with this. Disney, for example, uses wristbands to track the identities, movements, and financial status of park visitors to allow for a more immersive experience. This is an opt-in system and, while this may work on a small scale at Disney Land, Scott doesn’t see consumers buying into this on a large scale. Having, for instance, an IP address dedicated to you like a Social Security number would lead to far too many privacy and security issues. The future is likely more about detecting your presence than it is about tracking you at all times – motion detection has come a long way and even the more complex gaze detection does not seem that crazy anymore. Ultimately, in a world where our devices are more aware, balancing innovation with privacy is about creating real value for the consumer.

Session 3: Smart Lighting Just Needs to Work

In the last session of the day, Universal Mind, Avi-on Labs, and Cassia Networks cut to the heart of the issue: consumers don’t care about how the IoT works, they just care that it does work – for them. The panel agreed that we, as an industry, need to focus on creating open platforms and standardizations for the IoT in order to encourage innovation without causing fragmentation, and ensure that technologies will work together in one ecosystem. This is especially true when it comes to lighting an entire home or office building.

If our conversation is any indication, throughout 2017 you can expect to hear a lot more about wireless switches for lighting solutions, best practices for managing a lighting solution across multiple people in a single home, and – you guessed it – security concerns, especially when meshing together large number of lighting devices in one network. Even with these challenges, the fundamental concern will still be interoperability.

On this topic, Richard Gunther brought up iDevices and their CES debut of Instant Switch. A Bluetooth® device, Instant Switch acts as a bridge between HomeKit, Android, and Amazon’s Alexa assistant for nearly all iDevices products. What is particularly interesting here is that iDevices, traditionally known as a Wi-Fi-based systems developer, has been building Bluetooth into its extensive lineup of outlets, sockets, switches, dimmers, and lighting products all along – knowing that adding Bluetooth to its devices would increase its options for interoperability. We have often said there is no one technology that will meet all of the needs of the IoT, which is why we introduced our Transport Discovery Service (a common framework for devices to discover and connect – no matter what wireless technology they are using) and improved interoperability and coexistence with other wireless technologies as part of our Bluetooth 5 specification. Once again, the conversation came back to working together to give consumers a better experience.

It’s clear that in order to meet its full potential, the IoT industry needs to put security and privacy first and work together to build a solid foundation that promotes innovation while ensuring scale and interoperability. These issues will only become more of a priority as some of the IoT trends for 2017 start to take off – think voice control, connected cars, and connected healthcare devices. The biggest take away from our panels? 2017 will be the year of consumer-facing connected products that solve real problems.

Luminaire Level Lighting Controls and the Future of Healthy Buildings

As we build back from the pandemic, the building industry is rethinking how we…

The Role of Lighting in Smart Buildings

Undoubtedly, everyone is aware of two types of lighting, i.e., wired and wireless. It…

Building Automation: Achieving Energy Savings of Over 90 Percent With Smart Lighting Sensors and Bluetooth Mesh

Intelligent sensors are becoming increasingly important in building technology. Modern sensor technology with high-performance…

How STEINEL Saves Energy Costs With Bluetooth Mesh and Turns Lighting Systems Into Smart IoT Backbones

The introduction of the power-saving Bluetooth® Low Energy (LE) standard and the expansion of…

How to Unlock the Full Potential of Networked Lighting Control Systems

A revolution is at hand. Intelligent luminaires are expanding beyond the standard on/off and…

State-Of-The-Art Smart Lighting In A Peace-Of-Mind Package

Retrofitting an energy efficient lighting scheme can involve a lot of upheaval and, with…

Intelligent Light Solutions For The Albrecht Dürer Exhibition

Intelligent light solution for the exhibition of Albrecht Dürer’s precious engravings at Palazzo Sturm,…

Gebäudeautomatisierung mit smarter Beleuchtungssensorik und Bluetooth mesh

Intelligente Sensoren werden in der Gebäudetechnik immer bedeutender. Moderne Sensortechnik mit hochleistungsfähigen Kommunikationsknotenpunkten kann…

DALI Alliance intros new Bluetooth gateway spec for in-building mesh networks

The DALI Alliance, the trade group representing the DALI smart-lighting interface, has released a…

Bluetooth shipments to reach six billion by 2025

Annual shipments of Bluetooth-enabled devices are set to top six billion by 2025, according…

Why Wireless Control Networks Are Taking Over Commercial Lighting

Commercial connected lighting systems have long held the promise of providing building managers with…

Analysts Predict Bluetooth Commercial Connected Lighting Will Gain Mainstream Traction

Commercial connected lighting systems are becoming the central nervous system for buildings, providing building…

Revealed: New Trends Driving the Future of Bluetooth® Technology

Watch Chuck Sabin, Senior Director, Market Development for the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG),…

Bluetooth Mesh at Scale - A Case Study

This session includes a detailed overview of the largest Bluetooth mesh lighting control installation…

2021 Bluetooth Market Update

Supported by updated forecasts from ABI Research and insights from several other analyst firms, the Bluetooth Market Update highlights the latest Bluetooth trends and forecasts.

Intelligent Light solutions for the Albrecht Dürer Exhibition

Today, we are living in a world where smart is the new normal, and…

How Bluetooth® Technology is Enabling Safe Return Strategies in a COVID-19 Era

This report shares insight into how Bluetooth® technology is being leveraged by organizations of all sizes to…

How Wireless Technology Is Enabling the Adoption of Commercial Connected Lighting

This report on commercial connected lighting systems developed by Guidehouse Insights analysts shares perspectives…

Understanding Reliability in Bluetooth® Technology

Download this detailed discussion of the issues and factors that impact the reliability of…

Bluetooth Mesh Networking Highlights and Features

This white paper provides an overview of the Bluetooth Mesh Profile and highlights some…

Bluetooth Mesh for Industrial IoT

Bluetooth Mesh lays a framework for large-scale industrial deployments using technology that is already…

Everything You wanted To Know About Wireless Communication In Lighting. Part 2: Data Rate

This is the second part of our guide on wireless communication in lighting. Today, we’ll…

Lighting as a Platform

See how connected lighting systems are being used as a platform to enable advanced building services like wayfinding, asset tracking, and space utilization to improve the ROI of smart building investments.

Build a Smarter Building with Blue

See how Bluetooth increases reliability, reduces costs, and enhances your smart building ROI.

 Get Help