Bluetooth SIG formally announces smart energy effort


Michael Foley,
Executive Director,
Bluetooth SIG
Washington, DC, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — October 20, 2010 – The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) has announced an enhanced focus on the needs of manufacturers of consumer devices in the smart grid environment with Bluetooth Smart Energy, which addresses the needs for wireless connections of sensors and actuators in the residence.

The SIG’s Smart Energy Study Group was established in February and since then has been working on two key strategy documents – one reviewing the smart energy market for Bluetooth technology, and the second a technical justification of Bluetooth technology as the choice for these markets.

The market review report finds that the opportunity is massive, given the number of new smart meters that are being installed. Including energy monitors and gateways, as well as gas and water meters, the total addressable market of installed devices is estimated at 790 million nodes by 2014, and once appliance control appears, the number of wireless connections within the home can swell to tens, giving a market of tens of billions of wireless chips.

“By 2020, the industry could be shipping more Bluetooth chips into meters and HVAC devices than into mobile phones and laptops,” suggests the report.

The technology overview report further argues that Bluetooth – in particular the classic Bluetooth Basic Rate/Enhanced Rate (BR/EDR) specification and the recently released Bluetooth low energy technology (in Bluetooth Version 4.0) – offer many reasons to be considered the favorite for these applications. Among these are the low power requirements, range to cover most domestic premises, robustness against interference and hacking, interoperability, and of low cost.

“Ten years ago, the first Bluetooth enabled mobile phone and headset shipped,” said Michael Foley, executive director of the Bluetooth SIG. “With the Bluetooth SIG’s embrace of smart energy, consumers, utilities, and vendors will now benefit from an ecosystem which has qualified more than 12,000 wireless products over the last ten years.”

Bluetooth wireless technology is a global wireless standard enabling connectivity for a broad range of personal electronic devices.