While Bluetooth has become a popular way to connect devices within very close proximity (30 ft/9 m or less), its range limitations and inability to connect more than one device to another have limited its use. A new Bluetooth-enabled hub introduced by Cassia at CES could change that by extending the range to 1,000 feet (304 m) or through three interior walls, and allowing up to 22 different devices to be connected at once.
The Cassia Hub operates on the company's proprietary and patented technology. It is compatible with Bluetooth 4.0 and requires no modification or re-configuration of existing Bluetooth-enabled devices. A mobile app developed for both iOS and Android allows you to access and control the hub, and the devices connected to it.
The app and hub combo can manage a plethora of Bluetooth-enabled devices like multi-room wireless speakers, smartphones, lights, door locks and headphones. Users have the ability to extend access and control outside the home via their smartphone or tablet when the hub is connected directly to the Internet via Wi-Fi or Ethernet. Existing Bluetooth technology doesn't do that.
The hub is a svelte 1.5 lb (0.68 kg) and is all of 4.9 inches (12.7 cm) in diameter by 7.8 inches (19.8 cm) high. Cassia is taking pre-orders on its website for US$99, with shipments expected within this first quarter of 2016.
Optional Bluetooth-enabled accessories include a speaker, multi-colored LED light, smart plug, and a safety sensor that can detect when someone has fallen and be programmed to text for help.