Bluetooth 5The Bluetooth Special Interest Group has just issued the Bluetooth 5 standard. According to the press release, this “will include significantly increased range, speed, and broadcast messaging capacity. Extending range will deliver robust, reliable Internet of Things (IoT) connections that make full-home and building and outdoor use cases a reality.” But will it make any difference to e-reading?

As Chris Meadows writes elsewhere, the IoT capability in Bluetooth 5 could put e-books on bigger screens. The new standard, “projected for release in late 2016 to early 2017, will quadruple range and double speed of low energy connections while increasing the capacity of connectionless data broadcasts by 800 percent.” There isn’t any indication whether that will include, for instance, wireless display protocols like Google’s video streaming and screen mirroring via ChromeCast. But given the number of happy users and audiobook fans already streaming their Audible texts to speakers and headphones via Bluetooth, I expect we’ll see plenty of satisfied bibliophiles regardless.

Plus, many mobile device and smartphone users are busily using Bluetooth peripherals like keyboards and wireless mice to do their productivity and interaction. So the new standard may make a difference even without direct application to e-reading displays.


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