In Depth

Bluetooth 5 now available to manufacturers

Faster connection with larger range set to appear in 'two to six months', says Bluetooth SIG

Bluetooth 5 has launched and is available for manufacturers to build into their new devices.

The fifth generation of the wireless connection boasts a transfer speed around two times faster than its predecessor, with four times the range and eight times the capacity of broadcast messages, which should allow connectivity across an entire building, say manufacturers Bluetooth Special Interest Group (Bluetooth SIG).

In addition, Bluetooth 5 has a reduction in interference, allowing multiple Bluetooth devices to co-exist in a single environment, and will be less taxing to batteries on portable devices. 

However, "don't expect much of a boost to audio quality", says Engadget, as the new format aims to bring "Bluetooth's range and speed into the modern era". Improvements to latency and audio compression won't come around "until 2018".

Nor will the update bring mesh networking, which allows Bluetooth devices to "act as a hub" and boost connectivity for others, says The Verge. However, the feature is in development and "expected to arrive early next year".

Manufacturers can already access Bluetooth 5 and consumers can expect to see the latest connection in "two to six months", says Bluetooth SIG. 

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