ABI Research estimates that the installed base of Bluetooth-enabled devices alone reached 3.5 billion in 2012 and is forecast to grow to almost 10 billion by 2018—this doesn’t take into account many other technologies such as Wi-Fi, ZigBee, and cellular.
The emergence of standardized ultra-low power wireless technologies is one of the main enablers of the Internet of Everything (IoE) with semiconductor vendors and standards bodies at the forefront of the market push, helping to bring the IoE into reality. 2013 is seen by many as the year of the IoE, but it will be many years until it reaches its full potential. The next 5 years will be pivotal in its growth and establishment as a tangible concept to the consumer.
“There has been (and still is) a lot of hype about IoE with some protagonists predicting 10s of billions of IoE devices populating the planet over the next 5 to 10 years,” said Peter Cooney, practice director.
“In reality the market is already huge, and Bluetooth will continue to be one of the key technologies that enable IoE market growth.”
Bluetooth Smart Ready devices shipments are growing rapidly and this is creating a large number of “hub” devices that Bluetooth Smart “node” devices can connect to. Initial growth has been strong in the health and fitness market, but the massive Bluetooth eco-system is also driving growth in many other markets including keyboards, remote controls, watches, toys, door locks, and many more.
“The smartphone will continue to be the primary market for Bluetooth and the catalyst for growth of the emerging Bluetooth v4.0 ecosystem, but strong adoption is also occurring in the PC, mobile consumer, and connected home segments,” added Cooney.
“Hub devices have driven the first growth phase for Bluetooth; the second growth phase will be driven by Bluetooth smart enabled nodes/sensors.”