Bluetooth 5 official: Faster data transfer, increased range for seamless IoT

Internet of Things-focused Bluetooth 5 will be found in products within two to six months, Bluetooth SIG announced.

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(Image: File photo)

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group on Wednesday announced the next generation of Bluetooth, called Bluetooth 5, is set for new devices in the coming months.

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First shown this summer, Bluetooth 5 is said to have doubled data-transfer speeds, quadrupled network range, and eight times broadcast message capacity over Bluetooth 4. Bluetooth 5 also includes updates to reduce interference with other Bluetooth devices.

The new standard comes as smart home devices, fitness trackers, and more rely heavily on the wireless standard during the Internet of Things (IoT) era. Now, on Wednesday, technology firms can begin work to release products with Bluetooth 5.

"Bluetooth is revolutionizing how people experience the IoT. Bluetooth 5 continues to drive this revolution by delivering reliable IoT connections and mobilizing the adoption of beacons, which in turn will decrease connection barriers and enable a seamless IoT experience," said Mark Powell, executive director of the Bluetooth SIG, in a statement.

Consumers can expect to see products built with Bluetooth 5 within two to six months, Bluetooth SIG announced.

Bluetooth 5 is different from Bluetooth used for speakers and earbuds, which rely on an old standard. Bluetooth audio is expected to see updates in 2018.

"The organization is in the thick of some work to move all the audio applications onto the low-energy radio," Powell said, referring to Bluetooth LE.

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