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Bluetooth 5.0 - Easier, Better, Faster, Stronger

Bluetooth 5.0 continues to evolve to meet the needs of the industry as the global wireless standard for simple, secure connectivity. The IoT experience is advanced by improving interoperability and coexistence with other wireless technologies.

Why does Bluetooth 5.0 matter and how different is it from Bluetooth 4.0?

Bluetooth today is used in 8.2 billion devices around the world from smartphones and laptops to speakers, beacons and cars. The new standard is designed to enable devices to send data four times further than Bluetooth 4.0, which is up to 1,200 feet (around the length of 5 747s).

Work it easier

Bluetooth 5 continues to drive this revolution by delivering reliable IoT connections and mobilizing the adaptation of beacons which in turn will decrease connection barriers and enable a seamless IoT experience. This means that setting up wireless accessories like keyboards headphones and speakers which will be a much more frictionless experience. Improvements to the notoriously slow process for transferring data means it is very good for staying connected to devices more than a room away.

Makes it better

The SIG stresses that Bluetooth Mesh is not independent on 5.0. it is a separate endeavor, which will be backwards compatible with 4.0. The latest Bluetooth iteration is expected to make it to market towards the end of this year, or early next year. The broadcast messaging function aims to provide a ‘connectionless IoT’, where a Bluetooth device doesn’t need to be paired with another device in order to speak to it.

Does it faster

Bluetooth SIG promises the launch of Bluetooth 5.0 with twice the speed and four times the range for low power energy consumption devices. Strikingly, it stands out for its eight fold increase in capacity which helps in the broadcast messaging capacity.

Makes us stronger

Interestingly, no other wireless technology can match up to the install base of Bluetooth technology, with well over 10 billion devices. The updates of Bluetooth 5 help reduce potential interference with other Bluetooth devices and co exist in this increasingly complex IoT environment. Despite its mesh shortcoming, Bluetooth is leagues ahead of protocols like Z-Wave, ZigBee or Thread in terms of it deployment footprint. Because of its presence in all smartphones of recent years, it already has great brand familiarity.

Almost ready for manufacturers

Manufacturers can start using the Bluetooth 5 from the next two to six months (around Q2 2017). Though improvements to latency and audio compression will be around 2018. The upgrades may also help Bluetooth fend off Wi-Fi’s slow attempt to move in on its low-power turf. A new Wi-Fi standard called Halow is supposed to offer a Wi-Fi alternative to what Bluetooth has always been great at - fitness trackers, sensors and other small gadgets.

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