Bluetooth is one of the most universal connectivity options found on smartphones, tablets, wireless speakers and even on IoT (Internet of Things) devices such as smartwatches, fitness trackers and more. While Bluetooth 4.0 (and subsequent 4.1 and 4.2) brought Low Energy protocol, Bluetooth 5 which was recently announced in London, brings major upgrades to the communication technology. The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) expects the new version to be finalized by late 2016 or early 2017. Also Read - Motorola-branded Smart Refrigerators with Wi-Fi tipped to launch soon in India
Bluetooth 5.0 will offer double speed and four times more range compared to the existing Bluetooth 4.2. It will also increase the connectionless data broadcast capacity by eight times. The IoT capabilities of Bluetooth 4.2 will also be expanded further to Bluetooth 5.0. Also Read - Motorola to foray into 'Smart Home Appliances' segment in India with Flipkart
According to Bluetooth SIG, the increased range and broadcasting capabilities will help in transferring richer data, more intelligently. It will also redefine the way Bluetooth based devices transform information. The new standard will also allow IoT devices to move away from app-paired-to-device model to a connectionless model where users won’t need to download an app to pair their smartwatch or fitness tracker or any other Bluetooth enabled device. Also Read - New Bluetooth vulnerability poses risk to millions of devices
“Bluetooth 5.0 will transform the way people experience the IoT by making it something that happens simply and seamlessly around them. 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. And now with the ability to broadcast a much richer set of information, Bluetooth 5 will make beacons, location awareness, and other connectionless services an even more relevant part of an effortless and seamless IoT experience,” Mike Powell, executive director of Bluetooth SIG explained in a blog post.
What difference will Bluetooth 5.0 make?
Currently, if you are streaming music wirelessly on a Bluetooth speaker, the moment you move away, the stream tends to stutter. However, with increased capabilities of Bluetooth 5, you could easily stream music from anywhere within the house without stuttering. Also, setting up wireless accessories such as headphones and keyboard will be a frictionless experience.
Secondly, Bluetooth 5 will ease asset tracking for warehouse managers. Retailers will also be able to show their location to customers without needing a cellular or Wi-Fi connection – something that will be perfect for travellers who may not have mobile data connection.
Bluetooth 5.0 does sound exciting and first wave of devices with the latest standard could be seen sometime next year.