The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) is outlining some of its plans for the coming year and, among other things, it looks like next-gen Bluetooth hardware should support higher data transfer speeds and wireless connections across longer distances.

Mesh networking is also on the table, allowing Bluetooth devices to connect to a network by connecting to one another in order to create a network that can cover your entire home or other buildings.

According to the Bluetooth SIG, the goal is to offer speeds that are twice as fast and which offer up to 4 times the range of today’s Bluetooth devices without increasing power consumption. That means you’ll be able to transfer data more quickly without running down the battery on your mobile device… but we’re not just talking about mobile devices here.

The SIG says a big part of its push for 2016 involves smart home products, industrial automation, and other Internet-of-Things products.

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8 replies on “Bluetooth to get faster, longer range in 2016”

  1. For me to use bluetooth, I would like to have it 1) consistently connected even if the operating system has not yet started (bios). 2) Gamepads need to be very very low latency when using Bluetooth.

    1. Why do you need a bluetooth connection established before the OS has booted on the PC or phone?

  2. Glad I haven’t bought a Bluetooth dongle for my computers yet.

    For one thing I noticed when shopping that there seems to be many problems with existing products on Windows 10 (not like I use that OS but there are many many complaints out there that existing BlueTooth 4.1 dongles don’t work with Windows 10 right now – if ever). The ones I have seen only have drivers for Windows 7 and 8. So I think it’s wise to hold off until next year and see what comes down the pipe with these new devices. I don’t need Bluetooth THAT bad on my desktop and laptop but it would be nice to stream music off the devices to my Bluetooth earbuds. Anything that does come to market better have the APT-X codec too. Only one dongle I have seen thus far has this codec. I want my audio at the highest fidelity possible. As for transferring files to and from my phone, I already do that via Wi-Fi.

  3. Normally in a radio system a higher data rate will reduce the range for a given transmitter power. It is hard to see how they can simultaneously increase the data rate and range without also increasing the transmitter power. Maybe they will start using dynamic/adaptive beamforming?

    1. Surely the sensitivity of the receiver has something to do with it too?

      1. Making a receiver more sensitive can help increase range if the noise floor where the receiver is located is low enough. But consider how crowded the 2.4GHz band is already with countless WIFI devices, bluetooth devices, and microwave ovens. Also consider that bluetooth receivers are often located close to unshielded high speed digital circuits (motherboards, video cards, hard disks, etc) that generate wideband energy in the microwave range.

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