Bluetooth, it’s in everything these days and the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (Bluetooth SIG) wants it in a whole lot more. With today’s announcement of the Bluetooth 5 standard, I think just might achieve that.

The Bluetooth SIG has today announced the new spec is coming, but hasn’t actually delivered the technical specifications, instead they’ve announced the broad strokes of what Bluetooth 5 will bring when it arrives sometime in ‘late 2016 to early 2017’. As far as features go, the Bluetooth SIG have said is that the new standard – Bluetooth 5 – will have 4x the range, 2x the speed and a massive 800% increase in the initial broadcast packet size. But what does that mean?

Well, it should mean we get Bluetooth connections that work over longer distances, no more breakup sounds as you put a phone in your pocket, or walk out of the room. Bluetooth 5 will also be able to broadcast more data, which could significantly improve audio performance over time, this could potentially mean higher quality audio. The initial information also suggests that a Bluetooth device can present itself with a lot more detailed, or new information or instructions.

The SIG positioned this as a big step forward for the Internet of Things (IoT), which the IDC has projected could number around 30 billion devices by 2020. Upgrades to the Bluetooth specification should also have far reaching benefits for almost all Bluetooth use cases. There was not mention of battery consumption option for these features so we may have to wait for the full specification to come out before we know all of those details.

We’re waiting to get our hands on the full specification and see what goodies lurk within.

Are you excited for faster longer range Bluetooth? Let us know in the comments.

Source: Bluetooth SIG.
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    Well, first off, it’s not much use unless the battery drain is very low (eg like LE). The higher the battery requirements the more sticking with existing standards or going Wifi makes sense – they have support.

    And second, one of the key, absolutely vital, technologies needed, is accurate indoor positioning. If this spec isn’t addressing that need via triangulation/localisers, then it’s extremely dumb. There are hacks you can use if you reprogram existing chipsets that can get much of the way there – it would be nuts for them not to properly address this in a standard.


    Do you know whether Bluetooth 5 will come to existing devices as a firmware update or require new hardware?

    Daniel Tyson

    Not backwards compatible. Unfortunately it’s another spec you’ll need to look for in a new phone or tablet


    I thought as much, thanks Daniel.

    Dennis Bareis

    I like using my bluetooth headphones except them sound gets garbles because my body gets in the way, hopely this will not happy as much…


    Not really excited. Never found the range and speed a problem.

    If it was the WiFi people saying 4x range, 2x speed, that would be a different story.