Bluetooth 5 will offer big benefits for the IoT

Bluetooth 5 will offer big benefits for the IoT

The next version of Bluetooth (Bluetooth 5) will offer a whole host of improvements, including increased range, speed and broadcast messaging capacity. And this is good news for the IoT.

Bluetooth 5 is being released towards the end of this year or in early 2017, and is expected have big benefits for the Internet of Things.

With its range set to be quadrupled, the technology will now be able to support the ever-increasing amount of IoT connections that power smart homes and buildings.

New possibilities through Bluetooth 5

Bluetooth SIG says that these Bluetooth enhancements will open up even more possibilities for over 30,000 member companies and allow them to build more accessible, powerful IoT solutions.

As well as improved range, Bluetooth 5 will also double the speed of low-energy connections and increase connection-less data broadcasts by an eye-watering 800 percent.

Data transferred over the connection will also be richer and more intelligent, something SIG believes will redefine the way Bluetooth devices transmit information.

Bluetooth will begin to move away from the current model of app-paired-to-device to a scenario where there isn’t a need to download an application. The experience will be connection-less.

Benefits for IoT tech

Beacons, in particular, will benefit from Bluetooth 5. Sporting eight times the current broadcast messaging capacity, it’ll let beacon technology propel information faster and without connection barriers. ABI Research claims that 271 million of them will be shipped by 2020.

Mark Powell, executive director of Bluetooth SIG, believes that Bluetooth 5 will have a transformational effect on IoT technologies and the way people use them, as well as how they’re built.

He said: “Bluetooth 5 will transform the way people experience the IoT by making it something that happens simply and seamlessly around them,”

“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.”

Related: Bluetooth and ZigBee to dominate IoT connectivity

Smarter living

Paul Shepherd, a tech entrepreneur, told Internet of Business that Bluetooth 5 will kickstart interest in beacon technology and have a huge impact on our future lives, allowing for larger datasets and household appliances that communicate more easily.

He said: “The impact Bluetooth 5 can be split into two camps: One is how will it impact current technologies, and the other is how will it contribute to our future lives?

“In terms of currently, the one big impact Bluetooth 5 could have is on beacon technology and adoption. Beacons haven’t taken off yet , and I think a lot of that is due to Bluetooth’s current shortcomings. The increase speed, range and data transfer capabilities suggest that beacons could become a more widely adopted technology.

“That has quite profound implications for indoor environments like shopping centres, malls, exhibition halls and the like. The data transmitted by advertisers can be richer, more informative and engaging.

“In terms of how it could impact our future lives, I think the implications for IoT could be huge. Not only will the free flow of larger datasets become available but household devices will be able to communicate with each other much more easily, creating an ideal environment for a truly smarter home.”

Related: Bluetooth to get more power, range and speed for IoT devices