Bluetooth 5 debuts, slated for future devices and accessories

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Having been used to scribbling in something like "Bluetooth 4.2" into every device spec sheet for the last few years, we have a new generation of Bluetooth tech now on the horizon - version 5 of the specification just got launched, with better performance and full backwards compatibility. See the quotes from the Bluetooth SIG below. Bluetooth 5 will start appearing in smartphones in mid 2017.


From the SIG announcement:

With the launch of Bluetooth 5, Bluetooth® technology continues to evolve to meet the needs of the industry as the global wireless standard for simple, secure connectivity. With 4x range, 2x speed and 8x broadcasting message capacity, the enhancements of Bluetooth 5 focus on increasing the functionality of Bluetooth for the IoT. These features, along with improved interoperability and coexistence with other wireless technologies, continue to advance the IoT experience by enabling simple and effortless interactions across the vast range of connected devices.

Bluetooth 5 is setting the stage for the future

Of smart home. Of audio. Of the IoT.

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. Bluetooth 5 offers the flexibility to build IoT solutions based on feature need- range, speed and security can be adjusted for a variety of environments and end products. The increased speed of Bluetooth 5 lays the groundwork for the next generation of Bluetooth audio, and the increased range will deliver reliable IoT connections that make full-home, building, and outdoor use cases a reality.

Bluetooth 5 is ubiquitous

Bluetooth is unique in its ubiquity. No other wireless technology can match the install base of Bluetooth technology, with well over 10 billion devices. Bluetooth 5 includes updates that help reduce potential interference with other wireless technologies to ensure Bluetooth devices can coexist within the increasingly complex global IoT environment. 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.

Bluetooth 5 is doing more with Bluetooth

Bluetooth 5 continues to power the IoT but with additional features that better enable industrial automation and whole home coverage by addressing challenges like range and download speeds. Bluetooth 5 is driving the beacon revolution, with improved location awareness and smarter technology that collects data to provide personalized experiences for the end user. Higher speed enables more responsive, high-performance devices. Increased broadcast message size increases the data sent for improved and more context relevant solutions.

This is all for future devices, of course - you can't upgrade Bluetooth major versions on existing hardware. But expect smartphones launched from the middle of 2017 onwards to list 'Bluetooth 5.x' in their specifications list. And they'll have better Bluetooth performance and accessory compatibility than ever before.

Source / Credit: Bluetooth SIG