Bluetooth Lightbulb

Bluetooth Lightbulb

A lot has been said about the internet of things, but I have not yet seen the point of spending money to connect elements of my household to the net. My flat has central heating and the climate around here is temperate, so no need to control the heating remotely, light switches work fine for me.

Yet I’m curious about the concept, so when I discovered a bluetooth lightbulb on the website of a Chinese reseller, I did not resist and bought it: I have no speakers in my dining room, and no wish to have more things and wires, yet a speaker to listen to music or podcasts would be nice. Bluetooth also solves a recurring issue of connected household devices: proprietary protocols. Bluetooth audio is a mature technology that works pretty well – this is why it must be replaced by newer protocols.

Address CC-C5-0A-65-1F-05
Major Type Loudspeaker
Minor Type Audio
Paired Yes
Configured Yes
Connected Yes
Manufacturer Cambridge Silicon Radio (0x6, 0x21C8)
Class of Device 0x04 0x05 0x240414
RSSI -72
Role Master
EDR Supported Yes
eSCO Supported Yes
SSP Supported Yes

As could be expected the product I received is completely generic: no brand, no markings, nothing. In fact you could confuse it with any regular LED lightbulb. The lightbulb announces itself under the name BB Speaker and worked immediately, the light bulb basically pairs with the first devices that recognises it. You can un-pair it by turning the light off. It beeps when it pairs and un-pairs, exactly like more usual bluetooth speakers. Digging in a bit yielded the profile in the table on the side.

The sound quality is pretty average, better than the speaker of a phone, acceptable to listen to a podcast or some background music. The fact that the sound comes from the lightbulb has the advantage of having the loudspeaker in the center of the room, as opposed to the walls which is the usual position for speakers. In fact this lightbulb would be pretty good for public announcement system, except for the communication protocol.

I find it interesting that trivial applications work pretty well nowadays, but more interesting for of interactions are simply not available because of lack of standards to support them. It would not be rocket science to define Bluetooth profiles for light-bulbs and similar devices, but I doubt there will be a drive in that direction, so we will have a few more years before before the internet of things uses a sane protocol.

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