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Standards & Protocols

Bluetooth SIG Formally Announces Smart Energy Effort

October 20, 2010

Releases two new smart energy strategy documents covering the market for in-home wireless and the rationale for using Bluetooth to meet these needs.


WASHINGTON, DC -- From GridWeek, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) announced an enhanced focus on the needs of manufacturers of consumer devices in the Smart Grid environment. This effort, called Bluetooth Smart Energy, addresses the needs for wireless connections of sensors and actuators in the residence. The organization has released two key strategy documents. The first describes the market for in-home wireless in Smart Energy, domestic HVAC, and home appliances; the second is a technical justification of Bluetooth technology as the choice for these markets. Both papers are available on the Smart Energy page of the Bluetooth Web site.

Recently, at the Bluetooth SIG Working Group Summit, an optimized business and technical structure was adopted to ensure the continued success of Bluetooth technology over the coming decade. The revised structure will allow the SIG to better address specific requirements for both existing and evolving markets. Reflecting the continuous evolution of the wireless market, the SIG has now aligned around five key focus areas: phones; automotive; home and personal computer; health and fitness; and Smart Energy.

"Ten years ago, the first Bluetooth enabled mobile phone and headset shipped," said Michael Foley, Ph.D., executive director of the Bluetooth SIG. "In the decade since, more than three billion Bluetooth enabled devices have come to market, serving the world's broadest range of wireless applications. By 2020, the industry could be integrating more Bluetooth chips into smart meters and home appliances than it is into mobile phones and laptops."

The Bluetooth SIG's more than 13,500 members deliver innovative wireless solutions to a worldwide market. Nearly every smart phone and feature phone that ships in the developed world contains Bluetooth technology, as do most portable computers. Integration of Bluetooth technology into vehicles has enabled a safer and richer driving experience, while lightweight, cost-effective health and fitness monitoring solutions containing Bluetooth technology enjoy broad acceptance. 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 offers a number of key advantages for Smart Energy applications," added Foley. "First and foremost, the industry needs assurances that a chosen wireless technology is robust, readily able to cope with interference from the multitude of other wireless products in the home. Second, the wireless technology must be sufficiently secure, ensuring billing accuracy and consumer privacy while protecting against theft of service. Third, the technology must be interoperable, backed up by a stringent and effective qualification program. Since Bluetooth wireless technology is the only standard that can give full assurance to each of these concerns, we are excited to publicly announce the Bluetooth Smart Energy Group, which has been working since early this year to define solutions for Smart Energy and Smart Grid applications."

The Bluetooth specification is the only major unlicensed wireless standard that can deliver a full solution from radio to host application. Bluetooth frequency hopping technology provides robust operation in the home environment, providing a high level of assurance for interference-free communication. "The comprehensive scope of our specifications enables Bluetooth technology to provide an integrated solution that can cope with interference and which is optimized to have the lowest power consumption for these applications," said Tom Siep, chairman of the Bluetooth Smart Energy Group. "That places Bluetooth technology as the prime candidate for the Smart Energy market, giving manufacturers and utilities the confidence that their products and data will be secure and reliable. The Bluetooth SIG is confident in our projections for success as the world addresses the need to make better use of energy."

About Bluetooth Wireless Technology
Bluetooth wireless technology is the global wireless standard enabling connectivity for a broad range of personal electronic devices. The technology continues to evolve, building on its inherent strengths - small-form factor radio, low power, low cost, built-in security, robustness, ease-of-use, and ad hoc networking abilities. Bluetooth v4.0 unifies these evolutionary advancements and provides manufacturers and consumers with low energy and high speed features for connecting wirelessly. Manufacturers and consumers can choose to activate one or all of these features in Bluetooth enabled devices, depending on device functionality. More than eight new Bluetooth enabled products are qualified every working day, and more than 30 million Bluetooth units ship each week. With more than three billion devices in the marketplace, Bluetooth technology is the only proven wireless choice for developers, product manufacturers, and consumers worldwide.

About the Bluetooth SIG
The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), comprised of leaders in the telecommunications, computing, consumer electronics, automotive and network industries, is driving development of Bluetooth wireless technology and bringing it to market. The Bluetooth SIG includes Promoter member companies Ericsson, Intel, Lenovo, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia and Toshiba, along with more than 13,500 Associate and Adopter member companies. The Bluetooth SIG, Inc. headquarters are located in Kirkland, WA, U.S.A.