Mark Powell, executive director of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) has revealed that the group will formally introduce its fifth-generation standard next week in London. Bluetooth 5 is set to see much faster speeds and range over the current Low Energy specification, with a particular emphasis on location services that don't rely on the internet, such as in-store Bluetooth beacons.
From Mark Powell:
On the technical side, Bluetooth 5 has a lot to offer. As previously announced, it will double the range and quadruple the speed of low energy Bluetooth transmissions. But there's more. Bluetooth 5 will also provide significant new functionality for connectionless services like location-relevant information and navigation. By adding significantly more capacity to advertising transmissions, Bluetooth 5 will further propel the adoption and deployment of beacons and location-based services to users around the world.
With the standard just now being finalized, it's likely to be early 2017 before we start seeing products that support Bluetooth 5. We'll know more about the next step in the standard when the Bluetooth SIG unveils it completely on June 16.