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The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) has released several updates to its developer toolkit line-up. The latest toolkits empower developers to build faster and smarter when creating things like mobile apps and low-cost beacons, as well as gateways that control IoT sensors.

“What developers can do now with Bluetooth far surpasses what they could do just a few years ago,” said Steve Hegenderfer, Director of Developer Programs. “Whether it’s connecting a Bluetooth device to the web, using beacons to develop unique proximity solutions, or even just learning about how all of these wireless sensors work and operate, Bluetooth delivers the powerful technology, tools, and trainings to easily prototype, test, scale, and bring to market solutions with real user benefits.”

ABI Research projects that IoT service revenues will exceed $200 billion by 2020 comprising nearly 26 billion connected things and devices. These numbers are only expected to rise as manufacturers, developers, and consumers look to connectivity solutions that fulfill the potential of the IoT.

“As the IoT gains traction, Bluetooth has emerged as one of the market frontrunners and continues to exhibit strong growth with significant opportunities in beacons, home automation, and wearables in which lower energy consumption is critical,” said Andrew Zignani, Industry Analyst, ABI Research. “This will be further driven by upcoming Bluetooth technology advancements in energy efficiency, range, and mesh networking. Bluetooth enabled device shipments will increase by an average of half a billion per year through 2021, reaching more than five billion.”

Updates to the Developer Toolkit line include:

Secure Gateway Toolkit – This toolkit provides example components and simple initial set-up, in-depth and hands-on labs, and enhanced security components to create an Internet gateway that gives people the ability to monitor and control their sensors remotely. Developers can now expand IoT functionality in their products and leverage industry leading, government-grade security features introduced in Bluetooth 4.2. Devices can now connect directly with this gateway via a secure connection without the need for a smartphone or tablet to serve as the go-between.

Starter Kit – This comprehensive training package with hands-on labs and sample source code introduces developers to Bluetooth, giving them the foundational knowledge to add the wireless connectivity to products and apps. The latest version includes updated hardware to a new Arduino that is more cost efficient, and the labs now use Bluetooth Developer Studio to help makers build their first device. Updates are also coming to the Developer Studio to allow developers to quickly and easily create consistent implementations across multiple chipsets and platforms, speeding time to market and enabling higher quality and interoperability for Bluetooth services.

Application Accelerator 2.1 – This toolkit helps third-party developers build Bluetooth apps on phones, tablets, and PCs with support for Android 6.0, iOS 9, Windows 10, Tizen, and Blackberry.

Beacon Smart Starter Kit – This step-by-step kit gives instructions on how to build a beacon, leveraging the potential of these low-cost, simple yet powerful sensors. A more advanced kit will be out later this year that dives into beacon management and practical usage of beacons for real-world applications in retail and beyond.

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