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Bluetooth adoption grows fastest in location services

Bluetooth adoption grows fastest in location services
Among the solutions enabled by Bluetooth, indoor positioning or location service is forecast to have the fastest adoption in the next five years. According to the Bluetooth Market Update 2019, annual shipments of location devices will have a compound annual growth rate of 43%, reaching 431 million in 2023.
One application is item finding. A growing number of consumers are attaching Bluetooth tags to personal items like keys, wallets and purses. When an item is misplaced, the user can simply launch an app on their smartphone to locate it.
Wayfinding is another important application. From airports, train stations to museums and stadiums, “Bluetooth indoor position systems (IPS) have quickly become the standard for overcoming the indoor coverage challenges of GPS, helping visitors navigate their way through complex facilities,” Bluetooth SIG says.
Retailers and healthcare providers are using Bluetooth in smart buildings. Retailers use it to enable personalized promotions and wayfinding services to create better shopping experiences, increase sales and reduce operating costs. Healthcare facilities, on the other hand, use Bluetooth to monitor patients, track assets and improve emergency services.
Target is a case in point. Bluetooth beacons are built into its new LED-lighting fixtures. The beacon network helps customers navigate the store and find specific products via the Target app. “This will be one of the world’s largest known deployment of lighting-based indoor positioning,” said Lori Lee, Senior Regional Manager at Bluetooth SIG, in a seminar held at Secutech Taipei 2019.
Another example is Van Gogh Museum which implements Bluetooth-enabled dimmable LED modules. Bluetooth beacons can enable wayfinding services and point-of-interest information for visitors.
In addition, the installed sensors will broadcast occupancy, lux levels, temperature and humidity data. “Lighting control, room environmental monitoring and lux-hour tracking help preserve artifacts in the museum,” Lee said.
Furthermore, Bluetooth is powering the sharing economy. Mobility as a Service, which encompasses bike and scooter sharing, provides on-demand transport solutions that use Bluetooth. The rollout is especially apparent in the APAC region.
In essence, “asset management solutions increase utilization of smart city resources to help lower operational costs,” Bluetooth SIG says.

Mesh networking

Bluetooth mesh networking is quickly being adopted as the wireless communication platform of choice in a number of control systems. It is used for monitoring purposes as well. Bluetooth wireless sensor networks monitor light, temperature, humidity, and occupancy to improve employee productivity, lower building operating costs, etc.
Bluetooth also enables the automation of a building’s essential systems like HVAC, lighting and security to improve the lifespan of a building’s core systems.

Smart home applications

Since its introduction in 1998, Bluetooth device shipments have increased with no sign of slowing down. Bluetooth SIG predicts that the device shipment will reach four billion in 2019, and then grow at a compound annual growth rate of 8% over the next five years.
Bluetooth is an important technology for home applications too. “This past year, Alibaba and Xiaomi chose Bluetooth to help define their home automation experience,” says the Bluetooth report.
Smart appliances have the strongest potential. Shipment of Bluetooth-enabled appliances will grow at 59% compound annual growth rate over the next five years, reaching 54 million in number by 2023, Bluetooth SIG predicts.

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