Bluetooth 5 – The Upgrade We’ve Been Waiting For

/ 4 years ago


Bluetooth is everywhere these days, whether we’re playing music wirelessly or tethering our cars to smartphones for additional features. Of course, the current standard has limits, most notably the range it can be used at and the speed it offers, the latter of which being most apparent when transferring large files such as high res photographs between phones and cameras.

Fortunately, according to an email sent by Mark Powell, Executive Director of Bluetooth SIG, Bluetooth 5.0 is set to be announced on the 16th of June. The update will simply by branded as Bluetooth 5 in an effort to market the standard more easily and offers significant advantages over the current Bluetooth 4.2 standard, such as double the range and quadruple the transfer speed. It will also allow the advertisement of Bluetooth connections to contain more information compared to the simple device name currently used when searching for a Bluetooth device. This, in turn, may see new uses for technologies such as wireless beacons and Apple’s Handoff systems, though without knowing the size of the new advertisement packets, the potential of this can only be speculated upon.

Whether existing Bluetooth 4.2 hardware will support the new 5.0 standard is currently unknown, but that is unlikely as aside from 4.0 to 4.1, all previous upgrades have required new hardware. With so many new devices appearing on the market all the time, we could be seeing Bluetooth 5 compatible devices in our hands as soon as early next year, but whether other simpler hardware will follow suit remains to be seen. Check back later in the week for all the details on the reveal.

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