Bluetooth is one of the most popular wireless transmission technology connecting billions of devices. Ever since the first version released in mid of 1990s, Bluetooth gained its wide acceptance for variety of applications.
Bluetooth 5.0 is the latest version of the Bluetooth standard capable of two-way transmission with higher bandwidth, range and efficiency. Low power requirements, high efficiency, higher data rate and easier implementation makes Bluetooth one of the most acceptable technologies globally.
What is Bluetooth?
Bluetooth is a wireless technology standard for exchanging data over short distances (using short-wavelength UHF radio waves in the ISM band from 2.4 to 2.485 GHz) from fixed and mobile devices, and building personal area networks (PANs). Invented by telecom vendor Ericsson in 1994.
Harald Blåtand was King of Denmark from approximately A.D. 940 to 985. During his reign King Harald is reported to have united Denmark and Norway and to have brought Christianity to Scandinavia. Apparently “Blåtand” translates, at least loosely, to “Blue Tooth.” The origins of this name are uncertain, although it was relatively common during this time for kings to have a distinguishing name. His dead tooth, which was a dark blue/grey color, and earned him the nickname Bluetooth.
The Bluetooth SIG was officially formed with five companies (Ericsson, Nokia, Intel, Toshiba, and IBM) in 1998 and Version 1 of the technology was launched a year later. By 2005, Version 2.0 (with Enhanced Data Rate) had been ratified, the SIG (Special Interest Group) had welcomed its 4,000th member and shipments had reached 5 million per week (doubling just one year later).
Then in June 2007, the Bluetooth SIG acquired the Wibree Alliance, a Nokia-led initiative that included Nordic Semiconductor and which had set out to develop an ultra-low power (ULP) form of wireless connectivity – using much less power the Bluetooth wireless technology – that could communicate with cellphones.
Nordic and others brought their expertise in ULP wireless connectivity to the SIG enabling it to develop a form of Bluetooth wireless technology – initially dubbed ultra-low power Bluetooth and later Bluetooth low energy – that complemented the existing version but could run using coin cell batteries.
In 2010 the latest version of Bluetooth wireless technology, Version 4.0, (which included Bluetooth low energy as a hallmark element) was ratified and soon after the two types of chip described in the core specification – Bluetooth v4.0 and Bluetooth low energy ICs – became available.
Today, Bluetooth wireless technology is incorporated into billions of chips in thousands of applications, and Bluetooth low energy extends its usefulness to a huge new sector of devices powered by coin cell batteries. After nearly two decades of development, cumulative Bluetooth product shipments have passed 2.5 billion, membership has reached 19,000 and the technology is maturing into a product that has a very bright future indeed.
Specification of Bluetooth 5.0
Standard: IEEE 802.15.1
Frequency: 2.4 GHz
Range: ~200 meters (maximum range at line of sight distance)
Power: 100 m Watt (class 1)
Speed: 2 mbps
Advantages of Bluetooth 5.0 over previous version :-
- Increased bandwidth, Lower energy consumption
Bluetooth 5.0 introducing new and enhanced compatibility of data transmission speed up to 2.0 Mbps by doubling the amount of data transfer as compared to earlier version. It also allows fast over the air connection and reducing the pairing time, like it pair instantaneously all that with less amount of energy consumption.
- Wireless coexistence
Now this is first time, your Bluetooth device can be paired up to 2 devices at simultaneously working exactly same, for example connecting two Bluetooth speaker from your one smartphone is now possible. The wider channels help this existence possible.
- It’s going to be faster
No surprises here, Bluetooth 5 will be twice as fast as Bluetooth 4.2 LE, say its developers – that means a maximum throughput of 2Mbps by our quick maths. We are not likely to get up to those speeds out in the real world but it should still be a significant speed jump.
- It’s going to work from further away
Currently Bluetooth devices supporting range up to 10 meter which is almost 30 feet distance, when you’ll go beyond few rooms, while wearing Bluetooth headphone, your device audio may start experiencing trouble playing it, Bluetooth 5.0 having 3 times range as of current Bluetooth technology which means up to 30-40 meter or 100 feet. Now you can keep your phone in room while enjoy music in your backyard or parking.
- It will be more ‘location aware’
Bluetooth 5 is going to add extra navigational features so the technology can be more easily used in indoor beacons and similar location-aware devices – basically enabling you to use Bluetooth technology to find your way around a shopping Centre, for example.
- It’s ready for the Internet of Things
The IoT buzz isn’t going away and nor is Bluetooth – version 5 of the standard will include various under-the-hood tweaks and optimizations to provide better performance and draw less power when installed in smart home kit dotted around the home.
- Backward compatibility
Bluetooth 5.0 will be compatible with all of the previous Bluetooth version and will be supporting best possible connection with all of them.
Following table mentions difference between Bluetooth 5 and Bluetooth 4.2.
|Specifications or features||Bluetooth 5||Bluetooth 4.2|
|Speed||Higher, twice compare to Bluetooth 4.2 version Supports about 2 Mbps||Lower, Supports about 1 Mbps|
|Range||Higher, four times compare to Bluetooth 4.2 version Supports 200 meters in Line Of Sight (LOS) path in outdoor environment,
Supports 40 meters in indoor environment
|Lower, Supports 50 meters in Outdoor,
Supports 10 meters in indoor
|Message Capacity||Large, About 255 bytes||Small, About 31 bytes which gives just 17 to 20 bytes for actual data payload|
|Robustness to operate in congested environment||More||Less|
|Security Control||Better||Less secure compare to Bluetooth 5.0|
|Theoretical Data Throughput||2 Mbps, gives about 1.6 Mbps with overhead||1 Mbps|
|Digital Life||Better||Less better compare to Bluetooth 5|
|Support for IoT devices||Yes||No|
|Bluetooth Beacon||Beacons have become more popular due to speed and range increase in Bluetooth 5 version.||Beacons were less popular due to less speed/range as well as low message capacity of about 3|
With millions of devices are being connected to internet, and their inter connection, 430% of them are via Bluetooth, and Bluetooth will certainly help us to achieve IoT in future, Bluetooth 5.0 is one great step for better connectivity whole being best at power optimization.