A New Bluetooth World — Where
Bluetooth Has Been and Where It's Going

The world’s leading event for Bluetooth® technology, Bluetooth World is the official annual exhibition of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG). Hosting a wide range of product developers and industry leaders from around the globe, Bluetooth World 2018 was the culmination of 20 years of Bluetooth innovation — from its origins as a personal communication solution to its expansion to an industrial-grade connectivity engine.

The feature forum, 20 years of Blue: A discussion on the origins and growth of Bluetooth with the early leaders capped off the first day of Bluetooth World, where representatives from foundational innovators, Intel, Ericsson, and Toshiba, looked back at 20 years of Bluetooth technology and shared a behind-the-scenes look at some of the discussions and decisions that started it all.

“The timing and technology could not have been better. A lot of work went into acting on this opportune time when no one wanted wires.”

Stephen Nachtsheim, Bluetooth SIG co-founder

20 Years of Blue – A Discussion On the Origins and Growth of Bluetooth with the Early Leaders


For those unable to make the trip out to Santa Clara, California, USA, a few other highlights from the show included keynotes looking forward and hands-on developer training sessions.

Where Bluetooth is Going

Bluetooth World attendees had an opportunity to hear first-hand how brands — big and small — are using Bluetooth technology in their businesses. These engaging keynotes validate Bluetooth’s position as an industrial-grade connectivity solution that will be the wireless constant in the Internet of Things (IoT) for decades to come.

  • In his presentation, 20 Years of Blue! (Thanks to You), Mark Powell, executive director of the Bluetooth SIG, explained how Bluetooth is more than just a technology and how it encompasses a diverse community of more than 34,000 member companies that have continually collaborated to expand the technology’s capabilities to address major new market opportunities
  • Justin Bautista, NASA’s wearable electronics application and research lead, discussed in his keynote: Developing Wearables at NASA Johnson Space Center how NASA is putting Bluetooth in orbit, providing insight into their plans for implementing Bluetooth technology in wearable carbon dioxide sensors for astronauts
  • Attendee’s had an opportunity to hear Joshua Umstead, Disney senior product manager, discuss how Disney is Improving the Guest Experience at Walt Disney World using Sensor Networks
  • In his keynote, The Expanding Role of Bluetooth in Smart Buildings, Chuck Sabin, senior director of business strategy and planning for the Bluetooth SIG, talked about how recent advancements in Bluetooth technology are expanding the definition of the smart building and bringing the smart building of tomorrow to life today

The Expanding Role of Bluetooth in Smart Buildings


  • Eli Share, Bosch’s mobile IoT lead, outlined in his presentation: Engineering Tomorrow’s Connected Construction Site and the role Bluetooth plays in connected construction, as well as provided insight into Bosch’s plans in light of new Bluetooth standards and updates
  • Attendees had a chance to learn about Bluetooth Mesh and Precision Beekeeping Technology from Xavier de Briey, lead hardware engineer and co-founder of Nectar, who shared alternative applications for Bluetooth mesh technology, including using Bluetooth to monitor and aid the world’s dwindling bee population
  • In her keynote, How Different Verticals Can Take Advantage of Bluetooth Beacons, Janet Smrcka, Mall of America’s IT director, outlined the advantages of using Bluetooth beacons for indoor navigation, from conception to implementation to results
  • Adam Sobol, CEO of CareBand, discussed in his presentation: How Bluetooth Can Advance and Work Alongside LPWANs and GPS how Bluetooth can be used to empower seniors at home while providing peace of mind to caregivers and family members

Hands-On Developer Training

Beyond the Bluetooth origins and impressive lineup of keynote speakers, Bluetooth World 2018 featured a number of hands-on developer training sessions, ensuring there was something for everyone who attended.

  • In his hands-on developer session, Bluetooth Mesh for Developers, Martin Woolley, EMEA developer relations manager for the Bluetooth SIG, gave developers a chance to explore the concepts, technicalities, and uses of Bluetooth mesh networking while participating in a series of practical coding exercises to implement firmware for Bluetooth mesh products
  • Austin Blackstone, IoT applications engineer for ARM provided developers the opportunity to learn more about developing with Bluetooth Low Energy devices in his introductory tutorial: Bluetooth development has never been easier!
  • In his hands-on developer session, Bluetooth and Beacons, Kai’ Ren, APAC developer relations manager for the Bluetooth SIG, gave developers insight into how typical Bluetooth beacon protocols (iBeacon and Eddystone) are organized and what the packet format looks like, as well provided an opportunity to build a Bluetooth beacon on a BBC micro:bit and interact with it using an app on an iOS or Android device
  • Developers had a chance to participate in Nordic Semiconductor’s Technical Marketing Manager Pål Kastnes’s training session for Introduction to Bluetooth mesh commissioning that detailed all the key steps involved in commissioning nodes into a network using an app for mobiles
  • See all the developer sessions

“With machinery that will be around in 20-30 years, you need a technology that won’t be obsolete in that time. Bluetooth has been around for 20 years and it will be around a lot longer.”

Jim Katsandres, Bluetooth SIG, Inc.

Bluetooth Mesh – A Look Inside for Developers


20 Years of Blue

Bluetooth has come a long way in the past two decades — from cutting the audio cord and streamlining data transfer between devices to revolutionizing indoor navigation and location services to connecting and automating  buildings, factories, and cities. See how Bluetooth is continuing to expand the way we connect.

To learn more about the trajectory of Bluetooth technology, as well as the emerging trends, read the 2018 Bluetooth Market Update.

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