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Creating the Smart Home connectivity backbone with Bluetooth thermostats

Creating the Smart Home connectivity backbone with Bluetooth thermostats

Not everyone is able to make their homes waste less of the energy used to heat their homes. According to the European Commission, around 35% of the EU’s buildings are more than 50 years old, and 75% of these are considered energy inefficient. Even with government grants, some home owners still struggle to find the capital required to better insulate their homes. For those in rented accommodation, the only choice is to monitor and control how much energy is used to heat their homes.

Technology that can help, such as electronic thermostats, have been available for some time. But the key to turning these into a Smart Home solution is networking them together to provide control and energy usage monitoring. Critical to the success of such solution is the use of wireless connectivity to simplify their installation. But with a wide range of low-power wireless personal area networks (LoWPAN) on the market, it can be difficult to know which is most optimal to form the basis of a Smart Home network. One wireless technology that lends itself well to this application space is Bluetooth.

Bluetooth is a well-established wireless technology that consumers understand and trust. Fitted into every smartphone, most us are acquainted with its functionality and understand how to use it. Although it is most commonly used for point-to-point connections, such as listening to music on Bluetooth headphones, the technology has always had support for point-to-multipoint functionality and scatternets. With the increased demand for low-power wireless solutions that can operate in a mesh network, the Bluetooth standard has been expanded to accommodate these needs with its Low Energy functionality. Even in Low Energy mode, data rates of up to 2 Mbit/s are supported, ensuring that everything from short network messages to firmware updates can be transferred across the network.

Since Bluetooth is native to smartphone handsets, apps running on them can directly connect and communicate with Smart Home products using this wireless technology without the need to implement some sort of gateway. Because of the low energy demands, and small formfactor of pre-certified radio modules, it is very easy to retro fit existing electronic thermostat designs to become smart through Bluetooth. And, since most households have a radiator in every room, fitting Bluetooth capable smart thermostats throughout the home ensures that the wireless backbone is in place to support the addition of other Smart Home products, such as energy monitoring power sockets or home appliances with Smart Home features.

To review how an electronic thermostat can be retrofitted to become a Smart Home capable solution, using Bluetooth mesh networking, take a look at our latest whitepaper:

Click here to find out more about how Bluetooth Thermostats are keeping energy bills under control

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