Bluetooth 5, the next generation of Bluetooth standard, is expected to be announced this week, offering quadruple the range and double the speed of the current low-energy wireless protocol.
Executive director of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group, Mark Powell, revealed the news in a published email sent to UK health and monitoring company Blue Maestro. The Bluetooth SIG, is currently backed by Apple, Intel, and similar technology companies.
But there’s more, “Bluetooth 5 will also provide significant new functionality for connectionless services like location-relevant information and navigation. By adding significantly more capacity to advertising transmissions, Bluetooth 5 will further propel the adoption and deployment of beacons and location-based services to users around the world.”
The new standard is also said to offer significantly wider support for smart home devices and enhanced Internet of Things (IoT) functionality, in addition to increased support for location-based connectionless services, such as assistive navigation beacons.
It’s unclear whether Bluetooth 5 will come to existing devices as a firmware update or requiring new hardware. Earlier Bluetooth versions, 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 devices were not upgradeable to newer standards, but Bluetooth 4.0 devices could be upgraded to Bluetooth 4.1 via software patches.
In October last year, Apple added the Bluetooth 4.2 support to the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and iPad Air 2, bringing 2.5x faster speeds and up to ten times higher data capacity to devices.
Additionally, with the world going towards more and more wireless devices, this development would be something to look forward to. This would allow multiple wearables connecting to a device working efficiently. June 16 would surely answer some answers while raising several others.