Bluetooth 5 Bringing Quadruple Range, Double Speed

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Next week marks the formal debut of Bluetooth 5, which will double the range and quadruple the speed of the wireless standard. The goal of these improvements is to accelerate such applications as industrial automation, smart infrastructure, smart homes, and location-based services.

Bluetooth 5 is set to make its formal debut June 16 at the Discover Blue media event in London, reported the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG). The wireless standard is getting a major upgrade from Bluetooth 4.2.

The newest version of Bluetooth will pack twice the speed, and four times the range, of existing low-energy Bluetooth transmissions, as indicated in a statement from Mark Powell, executive director of Bluetooth SIG. The organization is made up of 27,500 member companies, which work together through it and guide innovation for Bluetooth technology.

Technical improvements in Bluetooth 5 include new functionality for connectionless services, such as navigation and location-specific information.

"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," Powell explained in the statement.

With this release, Bluetooth SIG is also making some changes to the way Bluetooth is marketed. As you may have noticed, the group has decided to drop its reference to the version and point number in its advertising.

This new approach to naming is intended to simplify Bluetooth's marketing, effectively communicate user benefits, and make it easy to convey major technical updates to its users, according to Powell's statement.

The updates being integrated into Bluetooth 5 will prove especially useful amid the rise of connected devices. Faster speeds and new navigation functionality will make it easy to leverage location-based services in wearable devices, for example.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly growing within the enterprise and among consumers. Some businesses are in the early stages of rolling out IoT technologies. Others, such as those in the industrial space, have been using IoT for some time.

While it's important for businesses to ensure their IoT technologies have the latest capabilities, it's also critical to ensure that deployments are secure. IoT presents a major security risk to the enterprise, and businesses face several major threats as they introduce new tools into their organizations.

Going forward, tech vendors are beginning to invest in building products for IoT. For example, HP Enterprise is positioning its Universal Internet of Things Platform to capture, convert, and analyze large quantities of data.

The devices and sensors connected to the IoT will produce data streams companies will want to record and use. With this update, HPE is acknowledging the immense value in exposing IoT data to apps that will be able to use it.

Bluetooth 5 will debut in the middle of 2016. Towards the end of 2015, the organization shared a technology roadmap detailing the advancements it planned to make in 2016. The goal of these improvements is to accelerate applications such as industrial automation, smart infrastructure, smart homes, and location-based services. Nearly 3 billion devices shipped each year include Bluetooth technology, the organization reported.

Since January, Bluetooth has launched a new look and feel to its brand, held a Bluetooth World event, and launched its Specification workspace.

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