And from today, those standards will do much more than any comparable “transmission” system – by that it means Bluetooth will do more than support HIDS (keyboards and mice) and A2DP (music), to new things like WSS (weight scale service), PLXS (pulse oximeter service), BLS (blood pressure service), GPS (glucose service), LNS (location and navigation service) and dozens more profiles that will automatically configure its use.
In comparison to Bluetooth 4.x, it will be twice as fast, have four times the range, eight times data speed (2MBps) and totally coexist with Wi-Fi.
The latest standard is more to do about making it the backbone of the smart home, office, or factory — IoT — and its new audio profiles support the whole-of-home and multiple speakers, something Wi-Fi was trying to edge into.
Or course, these improvements will require a Bluetooth 5 enabled device and that is all about new hardware, not simply a firmware upgrade.
Bluetooth 5 is backwards compatible with Bluetooth 4 and 3, but some of the new profiles and services will only work on the new version. A big market in low cost Bluetooth 5 USB dongles is expected, but within two years every new device will have it.
The Bluetooth SIG group stated, “Bluetooth is revolutionising how people experience the IoT. Bluetooth 5 continues to drive this revolution by delivering reliable IoT connections and mobilising 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."