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The next generation of the Bluetooth standard will be formally announced at a media event in London next week, according to Bluetooth SIG executive director Mark Powell. Bluetooth 5 is expected to be a significant upgrade over the current version of the standard, offering double the speed and four times the range of current low-energy Bluetooth transmissions.
The new standard is also said to offer significantly wider support for smart home devices and enhanced Internet of Things (IoT) functionality, as well as extra navigational features for indoor beacons and similar location-aware devices.
The unveiling will take place at the Discover Blue press event in London on June 16.
It's unclear whether Bluetooth 5 will come to existing devices as a firmware update or require new hardware, but the latter is more likely if previous major revisions are anything to go by. In addition to the version jump, Bluetooth SIG explains that the decision to drop version and point numbers in its marketing is part of a new simplified messaging strategy that will make it easier to announce technology updates.
The Bluetooth standard is backed by some of the biggest tech giants in the industry, including Apple, Ericsson, Intel, Lenovo, Microsoft, Nokia, and Toshiba.