The good old Bluetooth is set for a major update with just about everything with the wireless technology about to receive a quantum jump of sorts.
That includes speed, range, and capacity, with the Bluetooth Special Interest Group claiming a two-fold increase in speed while range gets enhanced by four times. That is not all as capacity gets a massive 800 percent increase as well. That means more data to carry across greater distances and at higher speeds.
Theoretically, that could mean data transmission speeds of up to 2Mbps with a range more than 1000ft possible with Bluetooth 5.0 though there might be slight variations in real world scenarios.
What is even more special with Bluetooth 5.0 is that all of the above enhancements do not call for any extra drain on the battery. Instead, that continues to be much the same as Bluetooth 4.0, or for that matter, versions 4.1 and 4.2.
Set to debut on devices around end 2016 or early 2017, Bluetooth 5.0 with its vastly enhanced capabilities will no doubt further augment its position as a viable alternative, or rather supplementary to Wi-Fi for not only mobile devices but for IoT devices as well. SIG is already estimating Bluetooth to feature in about one-third of all IoT devices within 2020, which is also when Google Home, Amazon Echo, and Apple HomeKit devices will no doubt have far greater proliferation than it is now.
“Increasing operation range will enable connections to IoT devices that extend far beyond the walls of a typical home while enhancing speed supports faster data transfers and software updates for devices,” SIG Executive Director Mark Powell said in a statement. “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.”
Another cool feature of Bluetooth 5.0 will be its ability to determine the type of connection needed to transmit a piece of information. It would save users from having to set up paired connection before they can begin sending. However, it remains to be seen how the security aspect is being dealt with. Meanwhile, SIG further stated the new Bluetooth version will also come with enhanced navigational features that will enable users to make their way around places and so on.
However, the new Bluetooth 5.0 is likely to me more about new hardware as it might require installing a new chip and not just a software update. Hence, while older devices will still be able to communicate with newer Bluetooth 5.0 enabled devices, those will not be getting the extra benefits that the latest version offers.