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Bluetooth direct to the internet: What could possibly go wrong?

Hang on! Doesn't Wi-Fi already let 'things' do that?

The Bluetooth special interest group (SIG) reckons connecting "things" to PCs and smartphones is passé and wants to add direct-to-router connections to its technology.

It's published a guide to using a bunch of RESTful APIs to build a gateway between Bluetooth and IP networking without an intermediary device.

Explaining its decision, the organisation says people want to monitor things like home automation and alarms while they're on the move, and wants to put itself front-and-centre in that activity.

It seems the strategy has been in train for some time: The Register downloaded the linked documentation and it's dated October 2015 (PS, people, don't leave corrections turned on in documents you post online).

The SIG calls the functionality "the next step to enable the IoT by giving people and systems control of sensors regardless of proximity."

What could possibly go wrong?

We think, from the documentation, that the idea is for Thing developers to create a node.js-based server in the Bluetooth device as the mechanism for serving information from sensors, out through a cloud-hosted service to reach end users.

Bluetooth gateway kit screen grab

How to ... something

The documentation notes that "networking security and server deployments are out of the scope of this exercise."

What could possibly go wrong?

The toolkit includes "reference architecture, firmware and a driver" to let developers start fooling around with gateway designs on devices like the Raspberry Pi.

Just don't forget to turn security on when you go from lab to live.

Consider, also, that plenty of thing-makers, especially in the electricity-rich environment of a western home, happily equip things with Wi-Fi because 802.11 routers are ubiquitous. That makes Wi-Fi a natural for thing-makers.

But if Wi-Fi wins the home thing market, Bluetooth loses lots of relevance. For the Bluetooth SIG, that may be even scarier than security holes. ®

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