what you need to know bluetooth aa-13-2

Although we caught wind of Bluetooth 5 last week, today the organization officially announced their new technology in a formal press release. The Bluetooth Special Interest Group has formally unveiled the newest iteration of this widely used technology, and it’s expected to be a pretty substantial boon to the internet of things. Not only does Bluetooth 5 quadruple the range of its predecessor, it also doubles its speed and increases data broadcasting capacity by a factor of 8. But wait! There’s more!

Bluetooth 5 will feature what are called ‘advertising packets’. These packets give Bluetooth enabled devices the ability to send each other limited amounts of information even if they aren’t pared with each other. This has radical implications for the Internet of Things.

“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 Special Interest Group. “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”

These ‘beacons’ will be physically placed Bluetooth hubs that will give smart devices a better understanding of their surroundings. This will allow them to give you more contextual content and suggestions. The Bluetooth Special Interest Group anticipates there being 371 million of these beacons distributed throughout the developed world by 2020.

Bluetooth 5 won’t actually hit the market until late 2016 or early 2017, so we’ve still got a little bit of waiting to do before we actually get our hands on this tech. While we sit on our hands in eager anticipation, let us know what you think of this new technology in the comments below. Game changer or incremental evolution?