Next-gen Bluetooth will be rolling out in the coming months.
Bluetooth 5 was announced in June, and today the Bluetooth Special Interest Group revealed that the spec is now finalized, making it ready for adoption. The new standard offers double the bandwidth, four times the range, and eight times the broadcast message capacity of Bluetooth 4.2.
Increased bandwidth leads to an increase in performance, and more range means that the connection to a paired device won't cut out after five feet. The SIG claims that with Bluetooth 5, you'll get whole-home coverage, and far less interference with similar wireless technologies. You'll also be able to transmit more data using the protocol thanks to the increase in message capacity, all while consuming less power.
Commenting on the launch, the SIG's executive director Mark Powell talked about how Bluetooth 5 can benefit the nascent IoT market:
Bluetooth is revolutionizing how people experience the IoT. Bluetooth 5 continues to drive this revolution by delivering reliable IoT connections and mobilizing the adoption of beacons, which in turn will decrease connection barriers and enable a seamless IoT experience.
This means whole-home and building coverage, as well as new use cases for outdoor, industrial, and commercial applications will be a reality. With the launch of Bluetooth 5, we continue to evolve to meet the needs of IoT developers and consumers while staying true to what Bluetooth is at its core: the global wireless standard for simple, secure, connectivity.
While Bluetooth 5 offers tangible improvements to coverage and data transmission, there's no difference in sound quality for audio playback over Bluetooth 4.2. The first consumer products with Bluetooth 5 will make their debut early next year.