Friday, 9 December 2016

Bluetooth 5 Facts

Bluetooth 5

An update to the decades-old technology Bluetooth was officially adopted this week, offering wireless connections with faster pairing and a longer range.

Bluetooth 5, which has been accepted as the official standard for the connection technology by the industry body Bluetooth SIG, is expected to boost the creation of wireless connected gadgets, part of the internet of things.

The advancement comes as the industry for connected devices is expected to grow to 48 billion installed worldwide by 2021, according to ABI Research. One third of these gadgets will have Bluetooth capability.

Here's what you need to know about Bluetooth 5.

How is Bluetooth 5 different?

Bluetooth 5 is twice as fast as its predecessor and can connect devices at quadruple the range, making it more reliable for use outside and around the whole of a house.

The bandwidth on Bluetooth 5 is 2 Mbps up from 1 Mbps, which means devices with the new standard will be able to transfer twice as much data, as well as making it quicker to send and receive information.

This means devices will be able to download updates in less time, and export collected information, for example from a sensor, at fast speeds.

A longer range, of up to four times that of Bluetooth 4.2 with low energy, means that smart home devices such as security cameras will be able to cover the entirety of a house. Improved ability to detect and prevent interference from other devices helps improve signal too.

"Whole-home and building coverage, as well as new use cases for outdoor, industrial and commercial applications will be a reality," said Mark Powell, executive director of the Bluetooth SIG.

Bluetooth 5 is also more efficient in its use of broadcast channels, which have become crowded on the 2.4 Ghz band. "These broadcasting channel improvements will enable developers to create experience-based apps that can bridge the physical and virtual worlds," said the Bluetooth SIG.

The 800 per cent increase in the broadcast channel capacity will help improve connectionless services such as location-relevant information and navigation.

When can I use it?

Now the technology is the new standard, device makers are advised to fit their upcoming gadgets with it. The Bluetooth SIG estimates that products made for Bluetooth 5 will go on sale within two to six months.

A version of the technology is back compatible with some devices. The low energy version of Bluetooth 5 will work with any gadget running Bluetooth 4.2, 4.1 and 4.0 that has the low energy feature. Those that use Basic Rate or Enhanced Data Rate Core Configuration will also be compatible with Bluetooth 5.



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