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Bluetooth 5: Double The Speed, Quadruple The Range

Bluetooth 5: Double The Speed, Quadruple The Range

Bluetooth connectivity is about to take a big leap. A really, really big leap. According to the Bluetooth Special Interest Group, the next generation of Bluetooth -- officially called Bluetooth 5 -- will feature connection speed that is twice as fast, and range of coverage that is four times as far reaching as the current iteration of the widely used wireless standard for connection. This means that when Bluetooth 5 lands on today’s mobile devices, smartphones, fitness trackers, stereo receivers, and even automobiles will experience connectivity capabilities boosted to levels never before seen. On top of all that, Bluetooth 5 will also come with significantly improved broadcast messaging capacity, which will enable it to send data with better quality, effectively ushering in a new generation of wireless services.


Bluetooth 5 is expected to debut before the end of this year, or possibly in early 2017. Of course, what benefits most from the emergence of Bluetooth 5 is this concept of the Internet of Things. This idea imagines a world in which almost every gadget in the physical world is connected to each other and to a network, allowing each smart gadget or smart appliance to work together in helping users complete daily tasks or job related activities. 


As explained by Mark Powell, the executive director of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group, via a released statement, the enhanced range of coverage that Bluetooth 5 provides will greatly increase the effectiveness and usefulness of a wide range of Internet of Things devices. Whereas today’s Bluetooth enabled devices can only reach so much, signal wise, inside the confines of a room, Bluetooth 5 will bring about connectivity range that stretches beyond the entire home or office, and maybe across multiple floors and through structures. At the same time, Powell notes, the range of coverage will provide the backbone for increased connection speeds, without sacrificing the quality of information being transmitted across Bluetooth connections. More importantly, functionalities such as location awareness, beacons, and other wireless connectivity applications will become more seamless. Beaming your favorite song from a source gadget moored in the living room to the basement where you are working out will be like child’s play.


The current version of this wireless technology is Bluetooth 4.1, which was introduced back in December of 2013. Fast forwarding to three years later and a new, better version of the wireless tech is ready to make waves, not only in the mobile world, but in every device with wireless connectivity capabilities.