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Bluetooth 5 Has Arrived: 2 Times Faster, 4 Times More Range Than Bluetooth 4

Now is an exciting time in the tech world due to the insane pace of its development. This narrative has just been reinforced with the introduction of Bluetooth 5, which features double than its predecessor's speed and an incredible quadrupled network range.

Bluetooth 5 Launch

The technology was announced early this year and is being touted as one of the enabling mechanisms that will support the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) era.

On Dec. 7, Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) announced that the technology has officially landed and is now poised to complement the latest technologies in mobile devices, wearables, and smart home technologies.

"Bluetooth 5 continues to drive this revolution by delivering reliable IoT connections and mobilizing the adoption of beacons, which in turn will decrease connection barriers and enable a seamless IoT experience," Mark Powell, executive director of the Bluetooth SIG, said. "This means whole-home and building coverage, as well as new use cases for outdoor, industrial, and commercial applications will be a reality."

New Standard For Mobile Devices

To complement the significant increase in transmission speed and network range, Bluetooth 5 will enable mobile devices to have eight times more broadcast message capacity.

In addition, it is now able to reduce interferences from other wireless devices. It still comes in its low-energy format, which should mean it will tax batteries less.

Overall, the upgrade should address current issues such as how smartwatches often struggle to pair with smartphones.

Internet of Things

Aside from more traditional gadgets, Bluetooth 5 has been developed to power the emergence of Internet of Things devices. The bulk of these new technologies includes smart appliances. The coverage of current Bluetooth 4.2 falls short when considering the demands of an entire home network.

Bluetooth SIG will also roll out a future update that will introduce a mesh network capability similar to the mesh router concept, with Bluetooth devices serving as access points or network-boosting hubs.

Bluetooth expects that about one-third of the IoT devices will be outfitted with Bluetooth technology, and this is underscored by the fact that by 2021 its number will explode to a staggering 10 billion annual shipments.

According to Andrew Zignani, analyst from ABI Research, Bluetooth 5 will contribute to and benefit from that growth by creating new opportunities within the IoT market, specifically through the reduction of complexities in the work of developers and manufacturers, while allowing greater flexibilities when developing applications and hardware.

Availability

One should remember that while Bluetooth 5 is now available, it will probably debut two to six months from now since that should be the period when next-generation devices, such as smartphones and wearables built with the technology, will begin rolling out.

It is also important to note that Bluetooth 5 is different from the Bluetooth technology used for speakers and headphones/earbuds. This technology will get a refresh sometime in 2018.

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