So many of Apple’s products either rely on or benefit from wireless Bluetooth connectivity these days that viewing Bluetooth’s roadmap is almost like viewing features for future Apple devices and accessories. Today the Bluetooth Special Interest Group has shared details on updates planned for the wireless connectivity technology in 2016 including improvements to range, transfer speed, and smart applications. Future and potentially even current Apple devices will certainly benefit as a result.
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In its announcement today previewing Bluetooth advancements coming next year, the Special Interest Group specifically shared that Bluetooth Smart used for connected home accessories will see a range boost up to 4x in some cases. SIG explains that this can potentially create new use cases for smart home appliances as you could stay connected to outdoor accessories like a weather sensor while inside, something that is usually beyond current range limitations. Apple’s HomeKit platform currently relies heavily on both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi for connecting iPhones and iPads to smart home appliances, as do many other accessories for its devices.
Speed is also set to see a big jump in 2016. The Bluetooth SIG says a “100% increase in speed” that doesn’t require an increase in energy consumption is on the roadmap, potentially benefiting medical devices and other smart accessories. Apple Watch relies on Bluetooth connectivity for transferring most data, so a drop in latency compared to the current speeds could make for a faster experience in the future with any apps that pull data from the iPhone as well.
Finally, delivering on its focus with the Internet of Things, the Bluetooth SIG says mesh networking is on the roadmap for 2016 and will allow multiple Bluetooth devices to connect together and potentially extend the range of accessories by creating networks that can reach entire buildings.
While the roadmap is only a preview for now, the Bluetooth SIG says it will share further details “in the coming months.”