Bluetooth 5 promises higher speeds, bigger capacity, longer range
The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) has given the go-ahead to Bluetooth 5 which should see vast improvements in the technology and make it more attractive to IoT uses.
The latest version offers twice the speed, four times the range and eight times the capacity for broadcast messages. It also offers improved interoperability and coexistence with other wireless technologies.
The technology should also enable more responsive, high-performance devices. Increased broadcast message size increases the data sent for improved and more context relevant solutions, according to Bluetooth SIG.
There are also updates that help reduce potential interference with other wireless technologies to ensure Bluetooth devices can coexist within the increasingly complex global IoT environment.
Mark Power, executive director of the Bluetooth SIG said that the technology is “revolutionising” how people experience the IoT.
“Bluetooth 5 continues to drive this revolution by delivering reliable IoT connections and mobilising the adoption of beacons, which in turn will decrease connection barriers and enable a seamless IoT experience,” he said.
Powell added that the new iteration of the technology would mean whole-home and building coverage, as well as new use cases for outdoor, industrial, and commercial applications, will be a reality.
“With the launch of Bluetooth 5, we continue to evolve to meet the needs of IoT developers and consumers while staying true to what Bluetooth is at its core: the global wireless standard for simple, secure, connectivity,” he added.
Andrew Zignani of ABI Research said that the global wireless connectivity market is growing rapidly, with an anticipated 10 billion annual IC shipments by 2021. The analysts firm is expecting 48 billion internet-enabled devices to be installed by 2021, of which nearly one-third will include Bluetooth.
“The introduction of Bluetooth 5 will create new opportunities in various verticals of the IoT market by reducing complexity and cost and giving manufacturers greater flexibility in targeting multiple applications and use cases,” said Zignani.
New products based on Bluetooth 5
Devices carrying the new technology are expected within the next few months. Nordic Semiconductor has announced its Bluetooth 5 ready nRF52840 SoC which is aimed at smart home and wearable applications.
“The nRF52840 SoC builds on the success of the nRF52 Series but will enable wireless product developers to embark on even more ambitious single-chip smart home, wearables, and IoT applications,” says Thomas Bonnerud, director, product management at Nordic Semiconductor.
“The scope of these application areas is developing quickly; wearables are moving towards payment and identification devices. The new Bluetooth 5 long range feature makes Bluetooth a genuine contender for smart home device communication and the nRF52840 is designed to meet and exceed developer expectations. Security cannot be an afterthought in today’s connected products, the consequences can prove disastrous.”
Martin Wooley, technical program manager at Bluetooth SIG, talked to IoB TV about Bluetooth 5 and IoT standards at our recent IoT Build conference. Click here to sign-up to follow up on YouTube, and be notified when the video becomes available.