The new version of the Bluetooth technology, Bluetooth 5, is coming late 2016, and will include significantly increased range, speed, and broadcast messaging capacity. The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) said that extending range will deliver Internet of Things (IoT) connections that make full-home and building and outdoor use cases a reality. Increasing broadcast capacity will propel the next generation of "connectionless" services like beacons and location-relevant information and navigation.
"Bluetooth 5 will transform the way people experience the IoT by making it something that happens simply and seamlessly around them," said Mark Powell, executive director of the Bluetooth SIG. "Increasing operation range will enable connections to IoT devices that extend far beyond the walls of a typical home, while increasing speed supports faster data transfers and software updates for devices. And now with the ability to broadcast a much richer set of information, Bluetooth 5 will make beacons, location awareness, and other connectionless services an even more relevant part of an effortless and seamless IoT experience"
According to the Bluetooth 4.0 core specifications, the maximum permitted power is 0.5 mW, its typical range is aproximately 0.5m and its dat arate is 24 Mbit/s. Bluetooth 5 will quadruple range and double speed of low energy connections while increasing the capacity of connectionless data broadcasts by 800 percent. It achieves all this alongside its power performance.
With the major boost in broadcast messaging capacity, the data being transferred will be richer and more intelligent. Bluetooth devices will move away from the app-paired-to-device model to a connectionless IoT where there is less need to download an app or connect the app to a device.
More than 371 million Bluetooth enabled beacons are projected to ship by 2020, according to Patrick Connolly, Principal Analyst at ABI Research.
In scenarios where contextual awareness like navigation and pin-point location are crucial – such as hassle-free airport navigation experiences, asset tracking of warehouse inventory, emergency response, even smart city infrastructure that helps the visually impaired be more mobile - Bluetooth 5 will send custom information people actually find useful in that moment without connection and application barriers.