Bluetooth® technology is a wireless standard with agreed, formal specifications that support global interoperability between devices from different manufacturers. The same is true of Bluetooth mesh, which enables lights, sensors, switches, and other devices to work when installed in a state-of-the-art smart building.
Interoperability is a benefit of standardization across every layer of the entire communications stack — from the physical layer, dealing with the analogue world of radio at the bottom, to user level behaviors that products may exhibit at the top. The Bluetooth mesh specifications define those product behaviors in terms of granular, standard building blocks called models.
In part due to this interoperability, Bluetooth mesh has become the clear choice for large-scale device networks – from connected lighting to controlling complex smart building and industrial systems. In fact, Bluetooth mesh product qualifications (formal certifications) have doubled every six months for the last two years with no signs of slowing down. According to the 2020 Bluetooth Market Update, one billion networked smart devices will ship annually by 2024. As Bluetooth becomes the standard for device network connectivity, understanding how to use mesh models is important to any developer.
According to the Bluetooth mesh glossary of terms, “a model defines a set of States, State Transitions, State Bindings, Messages, and other associated behaviors. An Element within a Node must support one or more models, and it is the model or models that define the functionality that an Element has. There are a number of models that are defined by the Bluetooth SIG, and many of them are deliberately positioned as “generic” models, having potential utility within a wide range of device types.”