Bluetooth 5 Is Finally Here
January 30, 2017
Quality Control Analyst
First, we need some backstory on what Bluetooth is. In essence, Bluetooth is a form of wireless technology that allows devices to connect to each other. This form of wireless connection isn’t the same as the normal Wi-Fi that devices use to connect to the Internet. The wireless connection that Bluetooth uses is called a piconet. The article, An Intro to Bluetooth Mesh Part 1, on Bluetooth’s site describes piconet networks as “a kind of hub/spoke topology” enabling “multiple 1:1 relationships with other devices.”
The upgrade to Bluetooth 5 is a large one. ARM Community’s “The Wait Is Over” article states that the upgrade “will quadruple the distance over which a signal can be sent, push data twice as fast, and increase the size of the broadcast messaging capacity by a factor of eight.” The other update that comes with Bluetooth 5 is a reduction in “potential interference with other wireless technologies to ensure Bluetooth devices can coexist within the increasingly complex global IoT environment.” I mean, what’s not to love about this upgrade!
The everyday person uses multiple small devices to connect with their phones, and it’s generally done through Bluetooth connections. The Internet of Things (IoT) is an industry where we try to connect “any device with an on and off switch to the Internet (and/or to each other).” This is how we have smart home devices, such as Nest, August Smart Lock, Google Home, etc. Part of the problem with the older Bluetooth standard is that the size of the house or office building inhibits your connection. But once Bluetooth 5 is fully adopted, this problem will be history.