Bluetooth 5 Launched: New standard boosts speed, range and capacity for IoT

The Bluetooth SIG has officially unveiled the next big update to the Bluetooth connection standard, Bluetooth 5.

We knew that this Bluetooth 5 announcement was coming last week, when Bluetooth SIG CEO Mark Powell tipped us all off. The announcement itself adds further detail as to what we can expect from the revised standard.

As already outlined, Bluetooth 5 quadruples the range and doubles the speed of Bluetooth 4.2. The fresh announcement expands on this by stating that the increased range will lead to “robust, reliable Internet of Things connections,” as well as opening out the possibility of outdoors uses. Meanwhile, the ramped-up speed will serve to “optimise responsiveness.”

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Perhaps most interestingly of all, we’ve also learned that Bluetooth 5 will increase data broadcasting capacity by 800 percent. This is what will allegedly “propel the next generation of ‘connectionless’ services like beacons and location-relevant information and navigation.”

What this means in plain English is that Bluetooth 5 will be able to share much more information between devices without having to drag you through the connection procedure. This will open out far more possibilities in terms of public beacons, which will aid with things like indoor navigation.

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As Bluetooth SIG says, “This will redefine the way Bluetooth devices transmit information, moving away from the app-paired-to-device model to a connectionless IoT where there is less need to download an app or connect the app to a device.”

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We also learned that Bluetooth 5 would be released “late 2016 to early 2017” – so expect the next wave of flagship Android phones in the first half of 2017 to come packing it.