The next upgrade of Bluetooth is on the way, with a formal announcement from the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (Bluetooth SIG) expected to take place next week. In an email
, Bluetooth SIG executive director Mark Powell advises the name of the new wireless standard will be Bluetooth 5, with the official unveiling containing more details about what to expect from this latest version taking place at an event in London on June 16. Among the highlights are claims that BT5 will include a speed boost of up to four times the current rate under Bluetooth Low Energy (LE), and double the current range.
Following on from version 4.2
released in December 2014, Powell advises the name "Bluetooth 5" was selected to make it simpler to market to users, according to the email, "communicating user benefits more effectively, and making it easier to signal significant technology updates to the market."
GSM Arena reports
that the standard will also provide "significant new functionality for connectionless services like location-relevant information and navigation," making it more useful for beacons and other Internet of Things applications. As with previous Bluetooth revisions, however, implementation in new devices can take a long time -- despite launching late in 2014, it took Apple until October last year to implement Bluetooth 4.2 in some devices, retroactively
adding it to the iPad Air 2, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus models, as well as the iPad Pro.