back to article Bluetooth: Remember us? Internet of Things before it was a Thing?

Bluetooth 5 has finally been unveiled, with headline claims of 200-metre range (quadrupling that of Bluetooth 4) and doubled bandwidth (now 2Mbps). There is a clear focus on Internet of Things devices and applications, but no sign of the proposed mesh protocol, which would do even more to improve the spec’s capabilities. The …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    but will this version allow multiple device connections to a single device ?

    Right now, my phone could easily use 2 BT devices simultaneously (smartwatch, car A2DP) with more on the way. Alternatively, it would be useful if the car could support 2 BT phones ....

    1. AMBxx Silver badge

      Re: TL;DR

      It can do that already. Crappy radio in my car can't, but my wife's BMW has no such problem. My Lumia 950XL quite happy to connect to both a speaker and a MS Band at the same time.

  2. AMBxx Silver badge
    Big Brother


    I already turn Wifi off when away from home, looks like I'll need to turn off Bluetooth as well if this takes off.

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: Beacons?

      Note to Google. Don't forget to disable any experimental Bluetooth 5 data collection devices in the Streetview cars

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Beacons?

      Turning wifi is a very good idea due to Moxie's man in the middle attack, just a walk through any urban area and a phone searching for wifi could lead to a compromise. The only flaw is that your ISP, mobile phone operator or any intelligence agency with a mobile cell tower intercept can still take anything.

    3. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Beacons?

      Bluetooth 4 was already close to the range of wifi.

      Certainly greater than the width of a street, which is about the distance to be worried about for snooping.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    the "Mesh"

    Oh it'll soon be adopted as soon as it has a less abrasive name. Remember when thin clients were difficult to sell until "the cloud" ?

    I suggest "Daisy Chaining", ahem.

  4. TonyDeaf

    The problem with Bluetooth is the crappy UseEx.

    E.g. when I can't hear anything from my Mac 'cos it's connected to the DAB radio in the kitchen again.

    Then having to go into a deep set of menus somewhere to forget the device.

    It's up there with getting music and photos on/off an iOS device.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not all bluetooth UX's are awful. On my TV:

      Press the volume up/down button, which shows 'optical' for the current input on the left of the screen.

      Press left, see a list of output devices ( optical, bluetooth, something else ).

      Press OK on the one you want, and bosh.

      Although unfortunately I don't have a use case for not using the optical connection to my soundbar.

  5. Ilsa Loving

    Better interference handling?

    Does this mean I can finally listen to music on bluetooth headphones without being forced to keep my phone in a breast pocket? Even having my phone as far away as my hip is enough to cause a frustrating number of interruptions.

    1. Marcelo Rodrigues

      Re: Better interference handling?

      "Does this mean I can finally listen to music on bluetooth headphones without being forced to keep my phone in a breast pocket? Even having my phone as far away as my hip is enough to cause a frustrating number of interruptions."

      This is due to bad project. I had a Nokia BH-214 headset. It was my first, and by far the better. About 8 meters of effective range, not a single drop, and as hard as a 3310.

      When it died a watery death, I bought a Philips. An SHB6110/10. My $DEITY, what a piece of crap. Awful reception, awful mic. The sound was ok, but...

      Then I got a Sony. A MW600. It is very good. Decent range, good sound, no dropouts... But the clip used to fix it is quite fragile, and broke.

      Second Sony. This time an SBH20. It is good. No dropouts, decent sound. The mic is meh.

      So. The tech is sound. It is even reliable. But we do find bad implementations, even from big names.

  6. ilmari

    My bluetooth ear defenders have enough range when talking to my phone, that it can go through one set of aluminium box, brick wall and steel door, and a further 10 meters in open air before it starts breaking up, reminding me I forgot to take the phone with me.

    Probably the biggest problem with bluetooth is the previously mentioned terrible user interfaces, and also the proliferation of terrible bluetooth radios. The latter is starting to happen with wifi too, where you may find a specific wifi client just isn't able to hold a reliable connection to a specific wifi AP, no matter the range. The difference is that usually your crappy wifi radios are inside cheap laptops and cheap APs. Not so with bluetooth, where you can have the shittiest bluetooth radio in the most expensive laptops.

  7. gudguy1a

    BT 5 and BT 4 firmware / upgrade

    Okay, what I'm wondering is, at this stage of tech, will BT 4 (or 4.1) firmware be able to get upgraded to BT 5...???

    Or will it require a new chipset to handle the BT 5 firmware.....???

  8. JJKing

    Oh dear....Sorry!

    Got a bad Bluetooth? Then you need Colgate Whitener to bring back your warmest smile.

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