Consumer awareness, preference of Bluetooth technology reaches new peaks as demand for IoT connectivity skyrockets

Data released Wednesday by Lux Insights puts consumer awareness of Bluetooth wireless technology at 92 percent globally, with 62 percent of respondents reporting a purchasing preference for Bluetooth enabled products, noting Bluetooth is reliable, easy to use, and makes life easier.

The proliferation and success of Bluetooth captured the imagination of the consumer, leading to increased demand for wireless applications including home automation, location-based services, personal monitoring and tracking, and remote access control.

Online survey conducted by Lux Insights, a Canadian brand research firm, in five languages across seven countries in January 2016 among 2,912 consumers responsible for technology purchases. Margin of error ±1.8%.

Industry analyst ABI Research projects that over three billion Bluetooth enabled products will ship this year alone.

Demand for IoT connectivity is focused in areas where consumers need additional control and insight. Respondents reported the highest interest in location awareness applications (solutions that aid first responders in emergency situations or aid navigation in public spaces and buildings), home automation (controlling lighting, locks, temperature from inside and outside of the home), and personal monitoring (secure monitoring and sending sensitive health and wellness data).

“Consumers are looking to experience that same convenience and connectivity in all aspects of their lives and we are consciously building the technology to deliver these effortless connections,” said Errett Kroeter, vice president of marketing for the Bluetooth SIG. “The Bluetooth technology roadmap specifically addresses consumer interest in new applications for wireless technology. Better still, many of the applications they are most interested in are available today.”

With the Internet of Things radically redefining what it means to be connected, it will present unmissable, undreamt-of possibilities for businesses globally. Gartner predicts that the typical family home could contain as many as 500 ‘smart devices’ by 2022. Most of these devices will have the power to communicate wirelessly using the de facto low power technology of Bluetooth.

Other interesting findings of the Lux Insights report found that on an average, consumers now own almost four Bluetooth enabled products increased from 2.7 in 2012; Bluetooth awareness has increased six percent since 2012 (92 percent in 2016, 87 percent in 2012); Bluetooth usage has increased 32 percent since 2012 (78 percent in 2016, 59 percent in 2012); with nearly two thirds of consumers prefer Bluetooth in their new technology purchases.

Earlier this year, the Bluetooth SIG introduced a new architecture and supporting set of educational tools that enables developers to quickly create Internet gateways for Bluetooth products. Bluetooth gateways allow any Bluetooth sensor to relay data to the cloud and back again. This architecture expands the potential functionality of the IoT by giving anyone the ability to monitor and control fixed Bluetooth sensors from a remote location, like turning off lights while on vacation or unlocking the front door for a pet sitter.

The Bluetooth Internet gateway architecture and toolkit show developers, makers, hackers and OEMs how to create a connection between Bluetooth and the cloud without the need for a smart phone or tablet to serve as the go between. This essential communication capability is the next step to enabling the IoT by giving people and systems control of sensors regardless of proximity.

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