First on how Bluetooth 5 will substantially improve IoT with the Quadruples range and doubles the speed, increases Data Broadcasting capacity, etc. The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), which is non-stock and unprofitable corporation that overseas the development of the Bluetooth standard, has officially announced Bluetooth 5 spec.
The release nevertheless defines the standard, which is expected to happen earlier in late 2016 or early 2017, since it’s the first major revamp of the Bluetooth standard since 2009 and promises to bring a range of improvements that have been introduced to cater for the ever growing Internet of Things (IoT) and connected devices world that we find overselves in today.
With that said, Mark Powell, executive director of the Bluetooth SIG, sent an email to Blue Maestro, a UK health and monitoring company, confirming that the next iteration of the wireless technology was coming a week ago, and that the news would be made official in a week. Finally, it has been unveiled, and as you might expect from a wireless tech standard, two key areas of the interest that have been dramatically improved are the connection range of Bluetooth devices that conform to Bluetooth 5, as well as the rate of which those devices can transfer data.
There’s more! Bluetooth 5 will feature what are called ‘advertising packets’. These packets give Bluetooth enabled devices the ability to send each other limited amounts of information even if they aren’t paired with each another. When released, Bluetooth 5 should offer double data transfer speeds that Bluetooth v4.x currently offers, as well as being able to efficiently stay connected up to quadruple the range that currently offered.
Considering that Bluetooth 5 will offer this new functionality with no increase in power consumption, which sounds more impressive on paper, but the average user will instantly wonder whether those improvements will actually provide any real-world tangible benefit.
Increasing operation range will enable connections to IoT devices that extend far beyond the walls of a typical home, while increasing speed supports faster data transfers and software updates for devices, said the executive director. The improvements should mean that all of those connected devices should be able to function more accurately at greater extent. Taking the Bluetooth speaker for example, breaks up and intermittently drops the connection when you walk out of the room with your smartphone should now function flawlessly due to the increased connection range. While the smartwatch currently takes a second or two to pair, take a notification from your smartphone and display it should now be effectively instant as well.
Now with the ability to broadcast a much richer set of info, Bluetooth 5 will make beacons, location awareness, and other connectionless services an even more relevant part of an effortless and seamless IoT experience. The release of Bluetooth 5 should also make business and corporations who are potentially looking to adopt beacon technology take an interest.
The introduction of Bluetooth 5 will bring with it the increased abilities, meaning that a ton more data (800% more) can be sent in a single transmission. Previously, beacons could transfer a URL to a device that would contain additional information about a specific location; think a car dealership or a retail outlet promoting products or special offers. That transmission can now contain a lot more information with Bluetooth 5, could actually push multiple payloads directly to the user rather than forcing them to visit the URL.
It’ll be extremely interesting to see what manufacturers do with the technology from a hardware perspective.
What do you think about Bluetooth 5? Game changer or incremental evolution?