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New version of Bluetooth promises more speed, greater range

Forthcoming Bluetooth 5 will quadruple the range and double the speed of links between devices, the group behind the standard says.

The ​Bluetooth logo uses runes emblematic of its Scandinavian roots.
The Bluetooth logo is made of runes emblematic of its Scandinavian roots.
Bluetooth SIG

Get ready for your Bluetooth connection to get a big boost.

Bluetooth 5, the next iteration of the widely used wireless standard, will quadruple the range and double the speed of links among devices such as mobile phones, fitness trackers, stereo receivers and cars, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group said Thursday. The new standard will also feature increased broadcast messaging capacity that will transmit richer data, allowing for the next generation of wireless services.

The new version, due later this year or early 2017, is expected to be a shot in the arm of the internet of things (IoT) industry, the notion that everything around you should communicate and work together.

"Increasing operation range will enable connections to IoT devices that extend far beyond the walls of a typical home, while increasing speed supports faster data transfers and software updates for devices," Mark Powell, executive director of the Bluetooth SIG, said in statement. "And now with the ability to broadcast a much richer set of information, Bluetooth 5 will make beacons, location awareness, and other connectionless services an even more relevant part of an effortless and seamless IoT experience."

The new version succeeds Bluetooth 4.1, which was introduced in December 2013.