Ready to finalize and release sometime toward the end of 2016 or early 2017, the 5th iteration of the Bluetooth near-range networking protocol will soon be linking the world of connected devices.
The current Bluetooth limitations have hampered advances in connected devices. The hope for version 5 is to provide faster data transfer and optimized communication response. According to the executive director of the Bluetooth SIG program, Mike Powell, data broadcasts could reach a capacity improvement of over 800 percent.
The most important piece of Bluetooth 5 will be that it will work seamlessly with the device-connected world so that operations are invisible, sustainable, and secure, ensuring that Bluetooth beacons are a seamless part of everyday life. Additionally, the increase in the operating range of Bluetooth 5 will allow IoT devices to communicate through walls and over longer distances. Bluetooth 5 is expected to quadruple the current range and provide twice the current speed but still utilize low energy.
According to Powell, with big tech companies like Microsoft, Apple, Intel and others backing Bluetooth SIG, he expects a large number of IoT devices to support the Bluetooth 5 specification quickly, with over one-third supporting it by 2020.