New Delhi– In a first, US-based spacetech startup Hubble Network has established a Bluetooth connection directly with a satellite 600 kilometres away — a development which can help connect millions of devices anywhere.

The Seattle-based startup is backed by a $20 million funding round from Transpose Platform and Y Combinator.

On March 4, 2024, from the grounds of Vandenberg Space Force Base in the US, Hubble Network successfully launched its first two satellites.

“These aren’t just any satellites; they’ve successfully reached their orbits and managed to receive signals from a simple 3.5mm Bluetooth chip over an astonishing distance of 600 kms,” the startup informed in a blog post.

“We’ve disproved thousands of skeptics. By showcasing that we can send signals directly from Bluetooth chips and receive them in space 600 km away, we’ve opened a new realm of possibilities,” said Alex Haro, co-founder and CEO of Hubble Network.

By enabling any off-the-shelf Bluetooth device with just a software update to connect to satellite network without cellular reception, we are “paving the way for a revolution in the Internet of Things (IoT)”.

“Imagine global coverage with 20 times less battery drain and 50 times lower operating costs. It’s not just an improvement; it’s a transformation,” according to the startup.

From agriculture, where farmers can harness more from existing low-power, low-cost sensors without the need for additional expensive space-enabled hardware, to defense, where secure and reliable communication is paramount, the implications are profound.

Hubble Network said it is already working with pilot customers in sectors like consumer devices, construction, infrastructure, supply chain, logistics, oil and gas, and defense to explore more opportunities.

A user will need to integrate their devices’ chipsets with a piece of firmware to enable connection to Hubble’s network.

With nearly five billion Bluetooth devices sold annually, the impact of this new connectivity could be monumental.

Hubble aims to launch a third satellite on a SpaceX mission this year. (IANS)