Almost everyone has a smartphone and they all have Bluetooth (if yours doesn't then you need to get a new phone!), and pretty much all the new ones have BLE. This makes it easy to interface with the IoT, unlike ZigBee which most consumers have never heard of and don't know what it is. Not to mention there isn't an easy way to connect to a random ZigBee device. I think the CSRMesh or a BLE mesh topology is a logical next step to opening up the world of BLE and the IoT for many applications, such as the CSRMesh lighting demo. Why would you want to control just one IoT thing when you could control multiple devices with one click? Nonetheless, from your phone that is always with you. Bluetooth is just easier for people to use and setup because they are familiar with it. If you're a consumer interested in the IoT, then your'e probably not going to want to spend a lot of time setting up every device, and buying extra components. Or God forbid paying someone to setup a network for you. Plus, BLE has excellent range just from a PCB antenna and depending on the application can run off a coin cell for 7-10 years. For these reasons, the project that I am currently working on uses BLE, actually the CSR1010, and we are very interested in the CSRMesh. We looked at all the other options to communicate with our device, including ZigBee. ZigBee is good for some things but I don't see it being a forerunner for the IoT in your home.
What are the engineering and design challenges in creating successful IoT devices? These devices are usually small, resource-constrained electronics designed to sense, collect, send, and/or interpret data. Some of the devices need to be smart enough to act upon data in real time, 24/7. Are the design challenges the same as with embedded systems, but with a little developer- and IT-skills added in? What do engineers need to know? Rick Merritt talks with two experts about the tools and best options for designing IoT devices in 2016. Specifically the guests will discuss sensors, security, and lessons from IoT deployments.