Bluetooth is about to get some significant new mesh networking capabilities — and the best bit is, you may not need new hardware to benefit from them.

Mesh networking will make it simpler to connect sensors across industrial sites, or to create smart home or building automation networks. Rather than wasting energy shouting to be heard by a distant gateway, devices will be able to whisper to their neighbors, asking them to pass messages.

It will offer a new way for devices to join the Internet of Things. Once a building has a mesh network to control lighting, say, other devices can use it as wireless infrastructure for other applications such as asset tracking and wayfinding, said Martin Woolley, technical program manager at Bluetooth SIG, the organization behind the Bluetooth standard.

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