The ever-growing number of connected gadgets on the market is putting a strain on our Bluetooth connections. To keep up with the increased burden, the Bluetooth standard is getting an upgrade, with longer range, faster speeds, and mesh networking all in the works for 2016. The incorporation of these new features is being overseen by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), an industry body that counts companies such as Apple, Intel, Microsoft, and Lenovo among its backers.
"There is significant demand from our members and the industry at large to enhance Bluetooth with the new capabilities we’re announcing today," said SIG chairman Toby Nixon in a press statement. "Current projections put the market potential for Internet of Things 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.”
SIG wants to cement Bluetooth's position as the "backbone of the internet of things"
SIG promises that the updates will increase the range of low-energy Bluetooth (also known as Bluetooth smart) by up to four times — allowing for connections not just around the home, but outside it as well. There will also be a 100 percent increase in speed (which SIG says is vital for catering to growing markets like the medical world), and the addition of mesh networking will strengthen Bluetooth connections by allowing them to bridge from device to device, rather than routing each product through a central hub. These upgrades are just a "technical roadmap" for now, but SIG says we'll hear about "additional features" and more details in the coming months.