The Bluetooth® SIG has been teasing mesh Bluetooth® for over a year, but the wait is over. As of today, Bluetooth® officially supports mesh networking. It has been optimized for large-scale networks, something that Z-Wave and Zigbee promised but never delivered on.
Bluetooth® mesh operates on BLE 4.0 or newer. Existing BLE 4.0+ devices would have to be field-upgradable to support the new mesh standard. We could see BLE chips with mesh support rapidly, because manufacturers don’t have to make any hardware alterations to support the new standard. It’s just a firmware flash. We should see commercially available SOCs that support mesh before the end of 2017.
We are excited to get our hands on some Bluetooth® mesh development boards and build the 1st generation of Bluetooth® mesh products for IoT.