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Bluetooth 5.0 emerges, ready to chew on the internet of things

Bluetooth 5.0
Bluetooth 5.0 emerges, ready to chew on the internet of things
The new Bluetooth standard is now ready for action and should progressively roll out into consumer devices from 2017. Promising a serious increase in performance, Bluetooth 5 is ready to meet the needs of a new generation of connected gadgets with even faster data sharing.

Bluetooth is a widely used wireless communication standard for securely sharing data over short distances between two electronic devices via a specific set of radio waves.

The technology features in many connected devices, such as laptops, smartphones, wireless headphones and smartwatches, allowing them to connect and communicate wirelessly. Today, Bluetooth plays a key role in the development of the Internet of Things (IoT).

The Special Interest Group (SIG), which manages the standard, promises a serious boost in performance with Bluetooth 5, with doubled speeds, quadrupled range and an eight-fold increase in data broadcasting capacity.

The first compatible products are likely to be revealed at the CES consumer technology show in Las Vegas (USA), in January 2017 and, more likely, at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona (Spain) in February.

Suffice to say that in not many months Bluetooth 5 will be baked into lots of devices that will work just fine with current Bluetooth kit. Not many months later most widgets will ship with Bluetooth 5 and we'll all enjoy faster wireless connections without really caring about how it happened.

The Internet of Things is where it's expected things will heat up, as longer range will increase the number of applications for which Bluetooth is a sensible option.

But Bluetooth 5 isn't the most interesting thing the SIG has on its plate: to The Register's mind, that's Bluetooth Mesh, the standard that will take Bluetooth from a star-and-hub tool to one in which signals can traverse a mesh of nodes. Once Bluetooth can do that, the IoT opportunities will become even more interesting.

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