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A globally recognized standards body, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) supports industry-leading companies around the globe in specification development, device qualification testing, and promotion of Bluetooth® technology. A not-for-profit trade association with more than 40,000 member companies, the Bluetooth SIG works with members to advance Bluetooth technology across a wide range of markets and solutions.

Each year, Bluetooth member companies ship more than five billion Bluetooth enabled products worldwide, with continued growth forecasted for the foreseeable future. By 2027, Bluetooth member companies are expected to ship 7.6 billion Bluetooth enable products each year, a nine percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR).

Key emerging use cases for Bluetooth technology that will have major market impacts include Auracast™ broadcast audio, electronic shelf labels (ESL), and Ambient IoT.

Auracast™ Broadcast Audio

For more than 20 years, Bluetooth® technology has enabled a wide range of wireless audio innovation, revolutionizing audio and changing the way we consume media and experience the world. LE Audio is a new, flexible Bluetooth architecture that will support the next 20 years of audio innovation. LE Audio will bring a number of initial enhancements to help relieve some of the challenges seen in the market today, including:

  • Better performing products (higher quality, better performance, and lower power)
  • Greater availability of Bluetooth hearing aids, with new standardization, increased performance, and global interoperability
  • Broadcast audio and the introduction of Auracast™ broadcast audio for public spaces

Auracast Outdoor Movie 1 1200x628 Logo

Auracast™ broadcast audio is a new Bluetooth® capability that will deliver game-changing audio experiences to help your world sound better. This is not the traditional Bluetooth paired experience. Auracast™ broadcast audio allows transmitters (phone, tablet, PC, or public transmitter) to broadcast an audio signal to an unlimited number of in-range receivers (earbuds or headphones).

Transmitters can broadcast openly to an unlimited number of listeners, and the smartphone is not needed for you to hear an Auracast™ broadcast. Of course, an Auracast™ broadcast can be secured with a password for encryption, but most audio broadcasts will likely be open to all, especially in public spaces.

When you look at the Auracast™ market story, there are three key experiences it will enable:

  • Share Your Audio: With a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or similar devices, you can share your audio experience with others around you, allowing you to listen to music and watch videos together with each person using their own earbuds or headphones. This could also include applications like tour systems and similar group listening experiences where one audio source is transmitting to multiple personal earbuds or headphones.
  • Unmute Your World: This experience provides the opportunity for you to listen to the audio of silent TVs seen in bars, gyms, waiting rooms, airports, and other public spaces. Auracast™ broadcast audio will allow you to join the audio broadcast of a program or monitor rather than watching (reading closed caption) in silence.  
  • Hear Your Best: Overcoming loud ambient noise can be a challenge in public spaces for everyone, and this is especially true for people with hearing loss. Auarcast™ broadcast audio enables direct audio listening to public address systems and other transmitters to help you hear your best using your listening and hearing devices. This includes augmented audio experiences at theaters and assistive listening in public spaces and locations like places of worship, transit centers, airports, conference centers, and other public gathering spaces. This can also include multi-language support, listening to any audio source that provides a simulcast of an alternate language.

Of course, global support for Auracast™ broadcast audio in all public locations will not happen overnight. It will take several years for the market to fully integrate this new audio innovation. However, the estimated uptake and opportunity of LE Audio and the use cases for Auracast™ broadcast audio are quite significant.

2 5 million auracast broadcast audio locations will be deployed globally by 2030

ABI Research estimates there will be more than three billion LE Audio-enabled devices shipping each year within the next five years; 90 percent of new smartphones shipped each year for the next five years will include LE Audio. This is consistent with what we saw when the Bluetooth® LE radio first launched, which is now in 100 percent of smartphones.

ABI Research also estimates that more than 61 million establishments globally could benefit from and take advantage of Auracast™ broadcast audio today. And while it is still too early to track trends, analysts forecast that there will roughly be 2.5 million Auracast™ broadcast audio location deployments in the next five-to-seven years. For more details on these and other estimates, please download and review LE Audio: The Future of Bluetooth Audio.


2023 Bluetooth® Market Update

The 2023 Bluetooth® Market Update provides updated forecasts and trends in key Bluetooth solution areas and highlights Bluetooth use cases that will drive future growth.


Bluetooth Electronic Shelf Labels (ESL)

Powered by the most recent release of the Bluetooth® Core Specification and specific device profiles and services for electronic shelf label (ESL) devices, Bluetooth ESL provides a highly secure, large-scale, low-power, interoperable solution to this massive market opportunity.

annual bluetooth esl shipments

ESLs help retailers better manage their business and their resources, and large retailers are driving for standardization and interoperability. Current solutions are a proprietary mix of sub-gig, 2.4 GHz, and infrared technologies. Bluetooth ESL is the first standardized implementation of ESL, and it was created in collaboration with major ESL vendors and in coordination with major retailer requirements.

The total addressable market for ESLs is measured at around six billion. Analysts predict that more than 100 million Bluetooth enabled ESLs will ship each year by 2027. However, these projections could prove to be low.

Momentum for Bluetooth® ESLs will build quickly. The ESL market is a narrow ecosystem of big suppliers, and technology priorities are being driven by large retailers with hundreds of stores and millions of potential devices to be installed. Large retailers are looking to, and driving, the need for standardization.

Recently, SES-Imagotag (one of the key influencers of Bluetooth ESL standardization) announced the next phase in their relationship with Walmart stores in the U.S. This includes the deployment of Bluetooth ESLs in 500 of their stores over the next 12-18 months, representing roughly 60 million digital shelf labels in that deployment period.

Bluetooth Technology and Ambient IoT

Ambient IoT can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. For the Bluetooth SIG – Ambient IoT is the culmination of a decade-long movement that has seen Bluetooth® LE increasingly support pervasive, real-time IoT connectivity for almost everything. It is a total addressable market calculated in the trillions, and it is set to completely disrupt market forecasts.

10 trillion total addressable market for ambient iot devices

Enabled by low-cost, energy-harvesting or energized tags that can track the location, condition, and state of any device, Ambient IoT devices are targeted to vastly improve supply chains. Early focus is on high-velocity chains that have expiring goods and/or significant returnable assets, such as food, pharma, and manufacturing. Bluetooth technology is well positioned to lead with a standardized low-power solution capable of handling the demands of the Ambient IoT.

According to ABI Research, 30 percent of food worldwide never gets eaten. Locatible estimates that – across pharma, healthcare, and manufacturing – up to 20 percent of medical equipment and goods are lost annually, and up to 30 percent of time can be spent searching for equipment. Ambient IoT solutions could have a big impact across these areas, minimizing waste and enhancing operational efficiency.

Forecasts for Bluetooth® technology in this area are already healthy. When it comes to the Ambient IoT, we expect orders for wireless tags to be in the hundreds of millions, with half a billion location services devices set to ship annually in the next five years. That’s almost 2.5x growth by 2027.

Ambient IoT is set to totally disrupt market forecasts, and accounting for these low-power, battery-free tags in the future will require a new way of looking at market trends.

To learn more about Bluetooth® forecasts and technology trends, check out the Bluetooth Market Update.


2023 Bluetooth® Market Update

The 2023 Bluetooth® Market Update provides updated forecasts and trends in key Bluetooth solution areas and highlights Bluetooth use cases that will drive future growth.


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