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One of the barriers to mainstream IoT adoption is the numerous wireless protocols being deployed: Bluetooth, Thread, Wi-Fi, zigbee, and z-wave. At the event, manufacturers were asking for support of these protocols on single radio chipset.  While some believe that these protocols will converge down into one predominate standard. If you look at the evolution of the mobile phone you will notice a trend that counter this prediction.


There was a time where standards such as CDMA, GSM, and LTE along with differing carrier frequency spectrums kept phones limited to specific networks. As telecommunications evolved, what actually happened is the phones themselves were designed to communicate to these protocols, thereby allowing them instead roam across these varied mobile networks. In many respects IoT will likely follow the same path. End device manufacturers are adding radios from vendors such as Silicon Labs which can support multiprotocol communication. We are now seeing Bluetooth commissioning support being integrated into devices such as media hubs, light bulbs, and even smart plugs. These devices either switch protocols via power-cycling or can simultaneously support Bluetooth and another protocol such as zigbee dynamically with a single radio transceiver by time-slicing between protocols. ICRFQ


Supporting multiple protocols makes device commissioning simpler with a mobile phone’s Bluetooth connection. Over time, the devices themselves will be able to adapt their protocol to an intended IoT ecosystem.

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