Bluetooth 5.0 boosts speed, range and lower latency as it seeks to expand ‘connectionless’ IoT
Bluetooth 5.0 has been formally adopted as the latest version of the wireless technology by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), delivering significant upgrades on speed and range without increasing power use.
The speed has in fact doubled from 1Mbps to 2Mbps and there has been an eightfold increase in broadcast message capacity, allowing Bluetooth to transmit richer data.
This, the Bluetooth SIG said, will drive adoption of location services such as beacons and static power consumption will ensure the technology continues to play a vital role in connecting the Internet of Things (IoT).
Wi-Fi, cellular and proprietary standards like Sigfox are all competing to connect the IoT, but Bluetooth 5.0 promises to reduce interference and latency to allow critical applications like medical devices and security to operate.
“Bluetooth is revolutionising how people experience the IoT,” claimed Mark Powell, executive director of the Bluetooth SIG. “Bluetooth 5 continues to drive this revolution by delivering reliable IoT connections and mobilising the adoption of beacons, which in turn will decrease connection barriers and enable a seamless IoT experience.
“This means whole-home and building coverage, as well as new use cases for outdoor, industrial, and commercial applications will be a reality. With the launch of Bluetooth 5, we continue to evolve to meet the needs of IoT developers and consumers while staying true to what Bluetooth is at its core: the global wireless standard for simple, secure, connectivity.”
Recent versions of the technology, which is the global short-range wireless standard for personal connectivity, have worked to reduce its power consumption as the IoT continues to gather pace. This was particularly evident with Bluetooth 4.0 which merged the ‘classic’ version of Bluetooth with Bluetooth Smart, or Bluetooth Low Energy, which uses considerably less power but is not compatible with previous versions.
Most modern operating systems support Bluetooth Smart natively and The Bluetooth SIG claims that 90 percent of all Bluetooth-enabled devices will be compatible with Bluetooth Smart by 2018.
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