Bluetooth 5 has been unveiled by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) with updates designed to ensure that the technology can play a critical part in the development of the Internet of Things (IoT).
The release will be issued in the latter part of 2016 or early 2017, and the Bluetooth SIG promises that it will quadruple Bluetooth range, double the speed and increase capacity eight-fold.
"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.”
The news comes as the Bluetooth SIG welcomes its 30,000th member, representing just what a big noise Bluetooth is, and that, while it lags behind infrastructure rivals in some areas, it will ultimately be able to offer services on a hitherto unseen scale.
Bluetooth 4.0 and subsequent increments have brought significant changes to the way Bluetooth works, including Low Energy which has enabled a range of new IoT sensors and wearables.
More recently the addition of meshing has meant that Bluetooth devices can act as transceivers, each bolstering and shoring up a communications network.
The addition of IPv6 connectivity adds further to the list with the possibility of using Bluetooth as an internet conduit. The extra capacity and speed in Bluetooth 5 will make this even more realistic, giving the opportunity for connected environments where it would be unthinkable before.
Full details will emerge in the coming months, but we can already see Bluetooth 5 galvanising these additions to the protocol, and making them a huge contender for IoT infrastructure.
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