The association that sets the wireless tech standard, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), announced it has officially codified Bluetooth 5, the next version of the Bluetooth specification. With this news, manufacturers can begin building the new tech into their products going forward.
Bluetooth 5 will be a major step up from the current standard for wireless connectivity, version 4.2. It’s twice as fast, with four times the range and eight times the bandwidth. Along with the increased performance specs, the Bluetooth SIG claims it works in harmony while in range of other wireless connection technologies.
Bluetooth 5 is twice as fast, with four times the range and eight times the bandwidth.While the bumps in speed and range are exciting for just about everyone who uses wireless tech, the specs are especially intriguing for the improvements that will come to the Internet of Things (IoT) and the connected home.
The larger connection range makes room-to-room pairing throughout the house much more effective than before. This will come as a relief to anyone who’s walked out of a room with their phone in their pocket, killing the music on their wireless speakers. The connection should be more reliable in general, too.
Given the advantages with range and reliability as well as the low-power spec, Bluetooth 5 would be perfect for connected-home gadgets that need to run mostly or entirely on battery power. Generally, most smart-home devices connect via Wi-Fi, but they typically need to be plugged into power or at least charged often.
Consumers can expect the new tech to start showing up in Bluetooth-enabled goods in the next two to six months. With an estimated 13.9 billion wireless products to be shipped by 2020 (one of three of which will be Bluetooth-enabled), Bluetooth 5 support should expand rapidly.