Bluetooth 5 is coming: Double the speed, four times the range

Bluetooth SIG has put the final touches to the specs for Bluetooth 5, which should bring some big improvements for IoT applications.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

The new version of the Bluetooth standard promises to improve Bluetooth low energy transmissions, which can make it useful for networked IoT devices.

Image: Opera Software

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group will announce the next generation of the wireless standard next week.

Mark Powell, executive director of Bluetooth SIG, has revealed that Bluetooth 5 will be formally announced on June 16 at a media event in London.

The new version of the standard promises to double the speed and quadruple the range of low-energy Bluetooth transmissions, according to Powell.

Bluetooth low energy is designed to support brief but long-range radio connections, which can make it useful for networked IoT devices.

That's broadly in line with the 2016 technology roadmap that SIG, whose top members include Apple, Ericsson, Intel, Lenovo, Microsoft, Nokia, and Toshiba, announced last year, outlining a focus on supporting applications for the Internet of Things.

Besides range and speed, Bluetooth SIG has also targeted mesh networking as a new capability to support full-home coverage, industrial automation, outdoor usage, medical devices, and location-based services.

And it's making more space for more advertising and navigation via beacon technology.

"By adding significantly more capacity to advertising transmissions, Bluetooth 5 will further propel the adoption and deployment of beacons and location-based services to users around the world," said Powell.

Powell also noted that Bluetooth SIG will drop version and point numbers in its marketing as part of a new simplified messaging strategy that will make it easier to announce technology updates.

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