If you are from Stone Age and didn’t hear about Bluetooth then you are in big trouble. It is one of those technologies that are taken for granted. It has become an important part of life since its introduction in the mid 90’s and has become an essential wireless technology for most of devices, not only for smartphones but also for laptops, tablets, smartwatches, and more.

Bluetooth has two Main specifications, “Classic” and “Low Energy”. The first one is what enables our wireless keyboards, mouse, wireless headsets and speakers. The other one is BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) that uses very less power consumption and is specially designed for the fitness and healthcare industry. That’s why wearable devices like the Fitbits use BLE rather than Classic one.

Bluetooth Versions

These Bluetooth versions do support downward compatibility that means the latest version will cover the features of its predecessor.

  • 0 & 1.0B
  • 1
  • 2
  • 0 + EDR
  • 1 + EDR
  • 0 + HS
  • 0 + LE
  • 1
  • 2
  • 5 ( Latest )

As we will talk specifically about Bluetooth 5, we will not mention all the above versions, as we talk about it we need to know what really the usage of Bluetooth is in general

Main Applications

The latest wireless technology has unpacked all kind of exiting functionality with a wide range of devices. Although, it was relatively limited during the early stages of its life, it has evolved to be capable of different data communications. The latest versions of Bluetooth technology come with high energy efficiency which helps to connect a wide range of devices through Bluetooth.

Here are some of the most important uses for this great technology:

  • Hands-Free : it allows you to keep your phone in your pocket while you talk using a BT headset
  • Music: The Bluetooth headphones that are available in market today has very clear transmission of audio. There are also car stereos available today with buttons on the device or steering wheel. That helps to navigate easily using this wireless technology.
  • Keyboards and Mic : You can pair up a keyboard to your device to type faster. Some devices even allow you to pair a mouse in order to use it much like a fully equipped desktop.
  • File Transfers: You can easily send a file from your supported computer to smart phone. The file transfer interface feature is provided by the computer.
  • Internet Tethering: in the most recent versions of Android you can do Internet tethering via Bluetooth. All you have to do is just to turn it on. Connect with your device and enable the tethering option. It can be found in the hotspot menu in networks.

These are the basic uses of BT but there is much more you can do with it especially with the Latest versions

Latest version “5 “

Last summer, the Special Interest Group announced Bluetooth 5. From that moment, the technology has been officially published and several companies are now using this technology in developing gadgets and boards.

New features

It is an enhancement to the low-energy version

  • It bumps the data rate up to 2 Mb/s. When the data rate is higher it decreases the broadcast time of the messages in order to save power. High power Bluetooth can be used however the output level in basic power is 0 dBm or 1mW. There are also extended range options such as 20, 10 and 4 dBm.
  • Extended range Up to 30 or 50 meter range, but the general range is mostly dependent on the environment it is used however the potential uses are high in longer ranges.
  • Interference mitigation by minimizing it, remember Bluetooth shares the 2.4 GHz band with Wi-Fi, and a bunch of other wireless devices, so there’s a greater chance for interference but these latest features prevent and detect interference on their way.

Version 5 vs Version 4.2

Now lets see the differences between v5 and v4.2 :

In term of speed v5 is twice the speed of v4.2 as it supports to 2 mbps while v4.2 supports only to 1 mbps. Now in the term of range, “Five “is four times the range of 4.2 and supports to 200 meters line-of-sight in outdoor and 40 meters in indoor environments. V5 use low power and large message capacity compared to its ancestor.

Bluetooth 5 is has more reliability, security and its support to LoT devices makes it a huge winner in this comparison, in fact Let’s say goodbye to V4.2 and welcome to V5

Its role in home Automation

With all of these developments, Bluetooth 5 is going to take the Internet of Things (IoT) by large. Several new home automation systems can be used such as controlled lighting using this technology. The v5 features are perfect for the low rate sensor reading with high reliability, security and greater range.

The only factor that might help is to develop into IoT with access controller and new routers provided by Cassia Networks, These products make it easy for devices to connect via the internet, opening the door to many new potential uses

Supported devices

At the moment, the biggest two mobile manufacturers Apple and Samsung are marching rapidly en route for Bluetooth 5. Samsung’s latest Galaxy S8 has Bluetooth 5 features and iPhone 8 and Galaxy Note 8 are also expected to have this technology. With that the top rated Smartphone’s will be available in the Bluetooth 5 enabled features and slowly other manufactures will implement on their devices as well.

Conclusion

If you need a Bluetooth device now, it is wise to wait some time. Either for the launch of these devices enabled with Bluetooth 5 or wait for the next generation of Bluetooth products to be launched. These features will change our lives completely and make it easier as well.

Sources:

What is Bluetooth 5? The iPhone 8 and iPhone X’s new wireless tech explained

https://www.bluetooth.com/specifications

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bluetooth_Special_Interest_Group