Bluetooth Technology Breaking into Key IoT Market Verticals
Bluetooth Smart and Smart Ready devices are forecasted to break 5 billion shipments by 2021.
Bluetooth Smart and Smart Ready devices are forecasted to break 5 billion shipments by 2021 as technical enhancements open up new opportunities, use cases, and device types for the technology, according to a recent report from ABI Research. Outside of the mobile space, key Internet of Things (IoT) market growth areas will include the smart home and smart lighting, beacons, and wearables, among others.
“While smartphones and audio accessories remain Bluetooth’s largest markets, the technology is becoming more attractive to low-power IoT applications,” said Andrew Zignani, industry analyst. “Though Bluetooth still faces strong competition from the other standards, mesh networking will enable new opportunities for the technology in the smart home, building automation, and emerging IoT markets in which robustness, low latency, scalability, minimal power consumption, and strong security are all additional critical requirements.”
A significant number of Bluetooth-enabled smart lighting products arrived to market over the past few years. Bluetooth-enabled smart lighting products reportedly can now control lighting across an entire smart home or smart building from a single gateway or controlling device, like a smartphone. This puts Bluetooth on a more even playing field with other mesh networking technologies, such as Z-Wave or 802.15.4-based ZigBee and Thread, which key industry players and the Connected Lighting Alliance endorse for residential and professional indoor lighting applications.
Bluetooth beacons will remain an enormous opportunity for the technology through personal tracking tags, retail, and advertising. Bluetooth beacons in these markets will achieve a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 133% between 2016 and 2021. Increased broadcast messaging capacity in Bluetooth 5 will help drive these markets, as beacons will be able to provide much higher quality content and richer contextual information than before.
Apple’s removal of the headphone jack from the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will also likely help drive adoption of Bluetooth wireless headsets, headphones, and still-emerging hearables. Mobile accessories are still set to account for 13% of Bluetooth device shipments in 2021, while growth for Bluetooth in speakers and the automotive segments highlights the continued importance of audio in the marketplace. Different codecs, such as Qualcomm’s aptX HD and Sony’s LDAC, recently led to improvements in the quality of Bluetooth for audio streaming. Forthcoming speed and bandwidth enhancements with Bluetooth 5 will further increase audio quality in devices that support the new specification.
For more information, visit www.abiresearch.com.