After teasing it back in June, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) recently announced that the Bluetooth 5 standard has been finally adopted by the industry body. The much-evolved Bluetooth 5 technology, the latest version of the decade-old wireless technology offering faster speeds and longer range, will now be ready for adoption by manufacturers all over the world.
Here’s what you need to know about Bluetooth 5.
What is Bluetooth?
Bluetooth is basically a wireless connection standard to connect devices over short distances invented by Ericsson in 1994. Bluetooth helps connect devices ranging from iPhones to PlayStation 4s to smartwatches and wireless headphones. The latest version of the standard, Bluetooth 4, was announced in 2011. It had since got a major update in the form of Bluetooth 4.2, back in 2014.
What’s new in Bluetooth 5?
Compared to Bluetooth 4.2, the new standard Bluetooth 5 offers four times the range, meaning you don’t have to worry much about moving around while connected to a wireless device.
The new standard also promises 2x speeds. Bluetooth 5 can go as fast up to 2MBps (Megabits per second), making it relatively fast to send and receive the data. In comparison, the current standard Bluetooth 4.2 is capable to transfer data up to 1Mbps.
Bluetooth 5 is said to offer eight times the broadcast message capacity of Bluetooth 4.2. It will likely to be useful for smart devices and the Internet of Things (IoT). “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.
When it is coming?
The technology is available now and it is up to manufacturers when they plan to release devices with Bluetooth 5. The Bluetooth SIG estimates that devices made for Bluetooth 5 will start to appear within two to six months. The next-generation iPhone may well feature the improved wireless standard. Bluetooth Audio is expected to see updates in 2018. That is a different standard from Bluetooth 5.