Bluetooth version 5 gets announced – Big Improvements – Details

Bluetooth 5 has been officially announced.

Kirkland, Washington – June 16, 2016 – The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) announced that its next release, coming late 2016 to early 2017, will be called Bluetooth 5 and will include significantly increased range, speed, and broadcast messaging capacity. Extending range will deliver robust, reliable Internet of Things (IoT) connections that make full-home and building and outdoor use cases a reality. Higher speeds will send data faster and optimize responsiveness. Increasing broadcast capacity will propel the next generation of “connectionless” services like beacons and location-relevant information and navigation. These Bluetooth advancements open up more possibilities and enable SIG companies – now at an all-time high of 30,000 member companies – to build an accessible, interoperable IoT.

“Bluetooth 5 will transform the way people experience the IoT by making it something that happens simply and seamlessly around them,” said Mark Powell, executive director of the Bluetooth SIG. “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”

Bluetooth 5, projected for release in late 2016 to early 2017, will quadruple range and double speed of low energy connections while increasing the capacity of connectionless data broadcasts by 800 percent. It achieves all this alongside its industry-leading power performance. With the major boost in broadcast messaging capacity, the data being transferred will be richer, more intelligent. This will redefine the way Bluetooth devices transmit information, moving away from the app-paired-to-device model to a connectionless IoT where there is less need to download an app or connect the app to a device.

More than 371 million Bluetooth enabled beacons are projected to ship by 2020, according to Patrick Connolly, Principal Analyst at ABI Research. With eight times the broadcast messaging capacity, Bluetooth 5 will further propel the adoption and deployment of beacons and location-based services in the home automation, enterprise, and industrial markets. In scenarios where contextual awareness like navigation and pin-point location are crucial – such as hassle-free airport navigation experiences, asset tracking of warehouse inventory, emergency response, even smart city infrastructure that helps the visually impaired be more mobile – Bluetooth 5 will send custom information people actually find useful in that moment without connection and application barriers.

Bluetooth 5 will also help accelerate the death of the 3.5mm headphone jack, as the added speed and bandwidth will allow hi-res audio via bluetooth to become less the norm.

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