As promised, Bluetooth Special Interest Group (BSIG), the organization that develops the ubiquitous short-range networking standard, of which Apple is a promoting member with voting rights, yesterday announced Bluetooth 5 at a press event in London.
Promising double the speed and four times the range of the current Bluetooth 4.x implementation, Bluetooth 5 is coming late-2016 to early-2017, BSIG said.
Bluetooth 5: faster and better everything
In addition to the significantly increased range and increased speed, Bluetooth 5 provides eight times the connections. And thanks to much richer and more intelligent broadcast messaging, many Bluetooth 5 devices will no longer require manual pairing.
This new connectionless model will be of particular importance for various Internet of Things devices, beacons and location-relevant information and navigation services.
Bluetooth 5 achieves all this without increasing energy consumption.
What’s in it for you?
Apple’s devices currently come outfitted with the most recent chipsets that provide low-enregy Bluetooth 4.2 networking. You may be wondering how Bluetooth 5 will improve your experience.
Well, for starters higher speeds will result in devices spending less time sending and receiving data. In turn, this should enable lower power consumption and better responsiveness for Bluetooth 5 hardware.
Quadrupling Bluetooth’s operation range will enable connections to devices that extend far beyond the walls of a typical home.
And 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 Internet of Things experience,” said Mark Powell, executive director of BSIG.
An ABI Research survey predicted that more than 371 million Bluetooth-enabled beacons will ship by year 2020. BSIG also said that there are 8.2 billion Bluetooth products in use today. More than 30,000 member companies have committed to building Bluetooth devices.