Bluetooth 5 was officially adopted by Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) recently taking a huge step towards a world of gadgets that is connected with faster communication speeds, and longer range.
The SIG first revealed its intentions of adopting Bluetooth 5 as the core Bluetooth specification earlier this year in June. With that accomplished a whole new new range of use cases for outdoor, industrial, and commercial applications will emerge. With Bluetooth 5 powered gadgets to be available soon, we are bringing to you the What, when, and why of Bluetooth 5.
Bluetooth is a relatively old mobile technology that has been available since it was invented in 1994 by Ericsson. Since then it has found itself primarily in mobile phones enabling users to share images, videos, contacts and even messages. The technology has found many applications beyond mobile phones as well as with the latest example being Internet of Things (IoT) applications. Currently used version is Bluetooth 4, which was adopted as the core specification by SIG in 2011. Then came a major update in the form of Bluetooth 4.2 in 2014. The latest specification is now Bluetooth 5 that will start featuring in gadgets in a few months time.
With adoption of Bluetooth 5 as the core specification by SIG, it is now available to manufacturers to build devices. According to estimates, devices supporting Bluetooth 5 will start to appear within two to six months. Some of the latest flagship smartphones from mobile manufacturers including Samsung, Sony, Huawei, LG and Apple will likely incorporate Bluetooth 5 in their smartphones in 2017. Internet of Things gadgets and wearable devices will also start featuring Bluetooth 5 next year itself.
Why use Bluetooth 5 when we already have Bluetooth 4.2? As with any new technology or a new version of an existing technology, Bluetooth 5 offers four times the range than Bluetooth 4.2. This means that you don’t have to worry much about moving around while connected to a wireless device and getting outside of the range. Also, Bluetooth 5 offers two times greater speeds than Bluetooth 4.2 – up to 2 Mbps (Megabits per second). Further, Bluetooth 5 has eight times the broadcast message capacity of Bluetooth 4.2.
“Higher speed enables more responsive, high-performance devices. Increased broadcast message size increases the data sent for improved and more context relevant solutions,” the Bluetooth SIG said. In addition, it will help reduce interference from other wireless devices and quadruple the range of low energy devices. SIG says this standard is “always low energy” suggesting that this could have much wider use in the IoT sphere. It can also help address issues that smartwatches have in pairing with smartphones.