The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) has officially implemented Bluetooth 5 as the latest version of its wireless technology. The latest iteration doubles up the transfer speed and quadruples the signal range in comparison to Bluetooth 4.2. The Bluetooth 5 was first announced on July 16, 2016, at London and was scheduled to go official in late 2016 or early 2017.
Bluetooth is a low power wireless data transfer technology. The wide scale adoption of Wi-Fi has certainly lessened the importance of Bluetooth but still can’t beat its extremely low energy requirement. Some of the main drawbacks of Bluetooth are its low transfer speed and limited range. The newly launched Bluetooth 5 aims to address these issues by offering speed and range improvements on top of other incremental upgrades.
The latest version of Bluetooth features four-time range increment in comparison to its previous iteration. Bluetooth 5 has a maximum range of 240 meters or 800 feet upgraded from 60 meters or 200 feet of Bluetooth 4.X. Coming to the speed, the newest version offers up to 50 Mb/s transfer rate which is twice than the 25 Mb/s of its predecessor.
Another significant improvement of Bluetooth 5 is its upgraded IoT capability. The new version increases the data broadcasting capacity about eight times to its predecessor. This is extremely beneficial to the Internet of Times (IoT) applications which work depending on multiple nodes connected across a house or system. Bluetooth 5 also adds support for connectionless features like location information and navigation through low energy (LE) Bluetooth.
With this official release, the newest Bluetooth tech will soon become available to consumers through the upcoming mobiles, laptops, smart watches, fitness bands, etc. Devices powered by Bluetooth 5 are expected to start arriving in the next year i.e. 2017 itself. However, it will take some more time to reap the benefits of the recent technology as it gradually spreads to all of our electronic appliances.
Inaugurating the launch of the new version, Mark Powell, Bluetooth SIG’s Executive Director said. “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.