The technology that connects smart devices over great distances and allows them to communicate with one another, called network protocol or home automation protocol, will be the most important technology as we gradually transition into worldwide smart homes.
While there are many options, our team at smarthomeSAGE predicts that the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) protocol will win for the following reasons:
- Low Energy: Although this protocol is not the most efficient, it requires far less energy than WiFi or regular Bluetooth.
- Mesh Network Adoption: BLE is in the process of moving toward a mesh network style (instead of the star network or direct-to-hub connection). This will effectively increase the range of the network as each connected device will, in turn, become a range booster.
- Widespread Adoption: Almost all smart devices already have Bluetooth. There is limited space in a device for additional hardware, and there would be limited integration and change required by cell phone
There are numerous new protocols vying to become the most popular, and WiFi is the incumbent protocol. However, WiFi introduces too much interference from devices such as laptops and smart phones, and more advanced smart devices will also require the home to adopt more powerful network protocols as devices offer more functionality (such as doorbell with video cameras, which need to transfer video data instantly when someone pushes the doorbell button).
The only major drawback that could undermine BLE is that it uses the same frequency as WiFi. As more homes with more devices (the most popular being smart door locks and smart thermostats) connect to the same bandwidth, it would slow performance in big cities, where there is a high concentration of people and devices.
Which protocol do you think will win the smart home race?