Bluetooth 5 is coming: Here's what's new

By Digit NewsDesk | Published on 09 Dec 2016
Bluetooth 5 is coming: Here's what's new

Announced earlier this year, Bluetooth 5 brings notable improvements in connectivity range and speed, and can majorly enhance IoT and wireless audio.

Bluetooth 5, the latest standard of the most widely used wireless connectivity medium, has been released to manufacturers and developers. With this, we now expect the upcoming crop of wireless-enabled gadgets and devices (read: nearly everything) to come with the new standard, beginning early 2017. Announced in June 2016, Bluetooth 5 reportedly brings a major upgrade in terms of connectivity range and data transfer speeds, while maintaining low energy requirements.

With the new Bluetooth standards now being available, the major benefit is being said to be reaped by the Internet of Things (IoT), or connected devices that require faster connections and extensive wireless transmission range. Connected home setups can now make use of the Bluetooth 5 standards to “talk”, or communicate with each other, and the extended range helps set up devices at various points at home. Higher bandwidth of connectivity will also allow a larger number of devices to connect to a network, which is crucial for multiple gadgets to join a network at the same time, while maintaining transfer speeds.

Bluetooth 5 is expected to present four times the speed of data transfer over Bluetooth 4.4, along with double the range. This essentially means that for smartphones and wireless audio gear, you can now expect connectivity ranges of up to 100 feet as part of the standard feature set, while faster transfer speeds and higher bandwidth will also allow more data to be transmitted, and hence, the ability for more speaker to play high resolution audio files. This, in turn, can also bring high resolution audio playback capability to less expensive speakers.

On a similar note, all wireless gadgets using low power transmissions, like smartwatches and cameras, will benefit from lesser power usage and higher data transfer quality. Despite this, the major focus reportedly remains around connected home (IoT) setups and wireless audio transmissions. Mark Powell, Executive Director of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group, had stated prior to the unveiling of Bluetooth 5, “By adding significantly more capacity to advertising transmissions, Bluetooth 5 will further propel the adoption and deployment of beacons and location-based services to users around the world.”

All of this combines as the progress of wireless transmission takes a turn for more gadgets connected in synchronisation with each other. While we are yet to hear word of the very first devices to support Bluetooth 5, the list is expected to release and increase, soon.

Digit NewsDesk

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