Bluetooth to gain longer range, faster speed in 2016

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) announced some big changes for Bluetooth aimed squarely at increasing its Internet of Things (IoT) functionality.

The Bluetooth SIG said that Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), also called Bluetooth Smart or Version 4.0 of the technology, will increase its range by four times, up from its current limit of around 330 feet (though it can theoretically extend farther), reports Venture Beat. That means a Wi-Fi-connected device in the home, for example, could pair and transfer data with devices much farther away, such as at a street corner.

The group also promises a 100 percent increase in speed -- without increasing energy consumption -- that will enable faster data transfers in critical applications, such as medical devices. And mesh networking will enable Bluetooth devices to connect together in networks that can cover an entire building or home, opening up home and industrial automation applications.

"There is significant demand from our members and the industry at large to enhance Bluetooth with the new capabilities we're announcing today," said Toby Nixon, chairman of the Bluetooth SIG Board of Directors. "Current projections put the market potential for IoT between $2 and $11.1 trillion by 2025. The technical updates planned for Bluetooth technology in 2016 will help make these expectations a reality and accelerate growth in IoT." Article