A lot of devices rely solely on Bluetooth for connectivity, but they always require another device to provide them with a link to the internet. That often means you need to be right there with it -- but not for much longer, because the low-power standard is getting its own gateway to the internet. The Bluetooth Special Interest Group has announced that future versions of its connection will "allow any Bluetooth sensor to relay data to the cloud and back again". In turn, it will provide "the ability to monitor and control fixed Bluetooth sensors from a remote location, like turning off your lights while on vacation or unlocking your front door for a pet sitter".
How will it work? It will add a layer of connectivity to your home Wi-Fi network that allows other devices to communicate with Bluetooth hardware, without you needing to be there with a phone or tablet or whatever. The idea is that always-on devices in your home that also use Wi-Fi -- such as routers, thermostats or security systems -- will be able communicate with Bluetooth devices in your home. You'll then be able to control the Bluetooth devices using these middle-men.
It's a simple idea, but one that could make Bluetooth way more useful about the home. A development kit's already been made available for manufacturers, though it will be a little while before you see the results in your home.
Image by Tsvetomir Tsonev