Who will win the Smart Home Protocol Battle?


Network protocols are an under appreciated technology that play a massive role in how our devices function in day-to-day life. Network protocols connect smart devices and allow them to communicate with one another. As we gradually transition into worldwide smart homes, network protocols will become increasingly important in managing a huge number of devices. As one would expect, the number of technologies that serve this purpose is also growing rapidly.

There are numerous protocols to choose from, but our experts at smarthomeSAGE predict that Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) will be the protocol of the future for the following reasons:

  • Low Energy: Although this protocol is not the most efficient, it requires far less energy than WiFi (currently the most popular network protocol) or regular Bluetooth.
  • Mesh Network Adoption: BLE is moving toward a mesh network style (instead of the star network or direct-to-hub connection). This will allow each connected device to in turn become a range booster, significantly increasing the range of the network.
  • Widespread Adoption: Almost all smart devices already have Bluetooth. There is limited space in a device for additional hardware, requiring limited integration and change to the market.

However, BLE uses the same frequency as WiFi. As more homes with more devices, the most popular being smart door locks and network home firewalls (an increasingly important device for smart homes to protect your personal data), connect to the same bandwidth, it would slow performance in big cities, where there are high concentrations of people and devices. This is perhaps the only negative to BLE, but compared to other technologies, this drawback is hardly significant.

With more smart homes and more advanced smart devices, homes will be forced to adopt more powerful network protocols as devices offer more functionality (such as door bell video cameras, which need to transfer video data instantly when someone pushes the doorbell button). Despite BLE’s drawbacks, it is still the most desirable protocol as we move toward the future of smart homes.

Which protocol do you think will win the smart home race?

This is a written by Joseph Mack from smarthomeSAGE, a blog that analyzes the impact that smart home technology has on home life. You can follow him on Twitter or Facebook.