Bluetooth is a technology that allows devices to exchange data within a short amount of distance from each other, wirelessly. Bluetooth Technologies and Evolution have changed a lot. The idea of Bluetooth was to find a wireless method for devices to communicate with one another so that the RS-232 standard could be replaced, and the serial ports could be removed from devices. Since the invention of Bluetooth is going through many versions, 5 to be exact, but what do they all mean? What makes Bluetooth 5.0 so special?
Bluetooth has been around for over 20 years and it is now on almost every mobile and a stationary piece of tech you own. If you are thinking of buying a product that supports Bluetooth, but you are not sure what version of Bluetooth you need, we explain all Bluetooth Technologies and Evolution.
Bluetooth Technologies and Evolution
Bluetooth technologies have become an essential part of our modern world. From the devices in our homes and offices to the tools we use on the go, these wireless technologies are helping us to connect and communicate like never before. And their ability to constantly evolve ensures that they will remain at the forefront for years to come.
Bluetooth 1.0 and 1.0B
We will start the Bluetooth Technologies and Evolution with the versions 1.0 and 1.0B. Bluetooth started up in 1999 by Sony Ericcson. They built the first hand-free set for mobile, and the next Bluetooth went to versions 2 and 3. The motivation of Bluetooth V2 and V3 is how to increase the data rate. Version 1, the data rate is only good enough to carry voice. Not good enough for music. Version 2, increase the data rate and hence is good enough to carry our music.
Bluetooth 2 starts by having a wireless headset to carry our music. Version 2 is the start of the era of wireless headsets, wireless speakers, and in-car audio. Mainly is still so-called one is one, point to point communication.
Bluetooth 3, focuses on carrying more data. In Versions 4 and 5, the design rule changes completely. Version 4 focuses on low power. Of course, the data rate also increases, but the key criteria for coming up with Version 4 is how to reduce the power. Bluetooth 3 is also still focused on point to point version. They increase the amount of data to carry and are also the start of data transfer. The sport and fitness device is wearable that we want to monitor our health. They are all in version 3 of Bluetooth.
Bluetooth 4 was introduced back in 2010, in the early days of the smartphone, and it is the era of beacon instead of one-to-one. This is the start of the evolution of low power also. Version 4 is also how we can reduce the power drastically. It brought some notable improvements over its previous version, such as Bluetooth Low Energy which allows smaller devices like headphones, and fitness trackers while using less power.
Bluetooth 4.1 brought some important updates.Previous versions had issues with 4G otherwise known as LTE. Their signals would interfere with each other and degrade the overall performance whilst draining battery life. 4.1 ensures there is no overlap between your Bluetooth and 4G connection, which was coming to the market around this time. Another notable improvement with 4.1 is that now all 4.1 devices can serve as both the hub and the end-point which meant your smart devices did not have to communicate through your phone, laptop, or tablet anymore, they could communicate directly with each other. This and some improvements also further enhanced the power efficiency of Bluetooth.
Bluetooth 4.2 saw a huge upgrade in speed, two and a half times faster data transmission, and also increased the number of packets, or data that can be sent tenfold, but perhaps Bluetooth 4.2’s most significant improvement was the introduction of support for IPv6 or internet protocol version 6.This improvement allows Bluetooth devices to connect to the internet directly and the improvement played a huge part in introducing the era of IoT. Now anything from fridges to thermostats to lights can connect to the internet and be controlled by you even remotely.Besides, there were some further power management and security improvements.
Bluetooth 5 moves us closer to the current times. With it, came another doubling of speed, now 2Mbps over the 1Mbps of 4.2. The Bluetooth range received a huge upgrade too, the maximum distance increased from 60 meters. In reality, you will not get this sort of range due to walls, obstacles, and other connections around you. Version 5 is a mesh network, so, many talks to many. This is to build up a mesh network, something very similar to Zigbee.
It was introduced in 2019 and brought some new features and further enhancements. This version’s ability is about Bluetooth devices to pinpoint your location. This allowed the arrival of Bluetooth-enabled smart tags into the market, which you can attach to your important belongings, so you can get an estimate of where it is based on the Bluetooth connection.
It came about a year later and focused mostly on improvements for audio devices. A lot of this stuff is very technical, so we will not get into it but the basic idea is that there is a new generation of Bluetooth audio called LE Audio or presumably Low Energy Audio. This contains a new audio codec called LC3, which provides high-quality audio whilst using low power. It also allows multiple synchronized data streams, and to put that into a practical term, think of your wireless earbuds, in the past only one of them would be connected to your phone, whilst the second earbud would connect to the first.
Having both buds connect directly to your phone improves the reliability of your connection and eliminates any delay or synchronization issues there may have been between left and right. This technology can also be used to connect two pairs of headphones to a single source, something that was not possible before. If you want to get this kind of headphones, we will suggest you the Xiaomi Buds 3T Pro.
All of these Bluetooth Technologies and Evolution bring us to today. There are definitely more improvements on Bluetooth Technologies and Evolution, but we think we managed to extract the most notable and easiest changes to explain. What do you think about it? What will we see in the future?