Market Insight

Value still exists in traditional Bluetooth use cases despite projected Bluetooth Smart growth in IoT

April 22, 2015  | Subscribers Only


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Bluetooth was introduced in 1999 with the first wave of use cases being hands-free calling via Bluetooth headsets, communication between desktop PCs and Bluetooth mice and keyboard peripherals, and audio streaming through a growing number of Bluetooth wireless speakers, sound bars and docking stations. Adoption rates continued to soar over the next decade as the technology became integrated into high-volume, growing markets such as portable PCs, headphones and headsets, tablets, and most importantly, mobile phones.

However, Bluetooth is nearing saturation in many of these traditional markets. While this certainly does not suggest that a decline in the technology’s adoption rates will occur, it does mean that the Bluetooth suppliers and OEMs invested in the technology will look beyond the traditional use cases to other emerging scenarios for continued Bluetooth adoption.

Bluetooth World, a leading industry event that the Bluetooth Special Interest Group hosts each year, wrapped up on April 15th. A number of themes emerged from the show, including Bluetooth Smart enabling the Internet of Things (IoT). New IoT use cases in the consumer, medical, retail, industrial and home automation markets require consistent, low power consumption solutions that will enable devices to operate on coin-size batteries for years. Bluetooth Smart is the low-power alternative to Classic Bluetooth and is optimized to enable these newer use cases that are emerging within the IoT. With that in mind, what will the market opportunity for these new use cases look like?

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