Bluetooth technology has become part of everyday life, and you’ll find it in all sorts of kit, like phones, speakers, headphones, TVs, watches, computers, and loads more. It means our devices can communicate with each other without the need for tangled masses of wires.
There have been a few improvements in the Bluetooth standard since it was first introduced in 2002, but Bluetooth 5.0 might be the biggest leap forward yet. So let’s take a look at some of the key features of the latest Bluetooth update.
Bluetooth 5.0 offers double the transfer speed compared to Bluetooth 4.2, this means much more data can be sent and received in a much shorter time frame.
One major benefit to this is firmware updates (updates that make your kit work better). There are lots of devices that get firmware updates via your phone, which are then sent to the device using the Bluetooth connection. Slow connections can timeout meaning the update fails - Bluetooth 5.0 will make these kinds of updates much easier.
Another area where we’ll benefit from higher speeds is fitness devices. When you use something like a smartwatch to log your workout, it records all sorts of data like your route, speed, distance, and heart rate then compresses all this data into a single file. The file is uploaded to your phone the next time it connects. So Bluetooth 5.0 will make sure your phone and fitness devices can keep up with the increasing amount of data that we’re recording.
The range that a Bluetooth signal can travel has always been a bit of an issue, especially when using things like Bluetooth speakers. Because Bluetooth is simply a type of radio signal, the amount of data that it can carry will always be limited. Music files can be quite large, and a large amount of data can shorten the range. This is why your music cuts out when you walk around your house with your phone in your pocket.
Bluetooth 5.0 will offer four times the range that we got with Bluetooth 4.2, which means your devices will find it much easier to communicate with each other around your home - great news for anyone looking for the best kit to build their connected smart home.
Bluetooth 4.0 introduced a ‘Low Energy’ power standard which could be used with smaller devices like smartwatches to conserve power.
The improvements made with Bluetooth 5.0 means Bluetooth Low Energy can now be used with bigger devices like headphones and Bluetooth speakers, giving you much better battery life.
Bluetooth 5.0 can already be found in some Smartphones, but we haven’t seen it in many other devices yet. We expect to see the 5.0 update start to appear in other devices by the end of 2018.
To benefit from the increase in speed and range, both of the connected devices will need Bluetooth 5.0. Don’t worry if you have some older Bluetooth kit though, Bluetooth is backwards compatible, so your Bluetooth 5.0 phone will still be able to connect to your older devices.
Hopefully, that’s helped you to understand more about Bluetooth 5.0. If you’d like help with anything else, you can contact one of our Team Knowhow experts here.