Bluetooth 5 announced: what should you expect?

Bluetooth 5

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) has announced the availability of Bluetooth 5, the latest generation of the wireless standard.

As for specific improvements, the group says it offers longer range, faster speed and “larger broadcast message capacity” as key upgrades. However, the group also says the update offers better functionality for fast-growing IoT gadgets.

“Key feature updates include four times range, two times speed, and eight times broadcast message capacity. Longer range powers whole home and building coverage, for more robust and reliable connections. Higher speed enables more responsive, high-performance devices. Increased broadcast message size increases the data sent for improved and more context relevant solutions,” the group wrote on the Bluetooth website.

Bluetooth 5 is expected to bring a host of improvements, but don’t expect Apple-like ease of use

Bluetooth 5 will also feature improvements to reduce potential interference with other wireless technologies, being cited as a key feature for IoT devices.

“Bluetooth 5 delivers all of this while maintaining its low-energy functionality and flexibility for developers to meet the needs of their device or application.”

As for the first devices with Bluetooth 5? The SIG says we should expect them within two to six months. In other words, expect next year’s high-end phones to support the standard.

The group is also expecting major growth for the standard, citing ABI Research as saying that 48 billion internet-connected devices will be installed by 2021, “of which nearly one-third will include Bluetooth”.



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