Bluetooth 5.1 Explained : Everything You Need To Know

Bluetooth is a wireless technology used for data communication between multiple mobile devices. The simplest example and excuse us for being so rudimentary – if you have a smartphone and would like to transfer images to your dad’s smartphone, you can initiate the process via Bluetooth, essentially avoiding the use of data cables and computers.

Windows 10 ships with support for Bluetooth and you can transfer files from your phone to your PC and vice versa. Bluetooth makes use of short-wavelength UHF radio waves ranging from 2.400 to 2.485GHz. The technology was initially developed as an alternative to RS-232 data cables.

Nowadays, every smartphone available on the market ships with Bluetooth support. As a user, you need not have to know the technical angles but you should know about the various features bundled with the latest release, Bluetooth 5.1. Bluetooth 5.1 is equipped with several enhancements including improvements in the stability of the connection.

The latest version provides real-time data in addition to proximity sensing and location-specific information. This article provides a succinct coverage about everything you need to know about Bluetooth 5.1.

Bluetooth 5.1 Explained

Bluetooth 5.1 Explained

Bluetooth 5.1 Explained:

WHO

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) is responsible for the management and development of Bluetooth wireless technology. As of writing this, the Bluetooth technology is owned by over 35,000 affiliated companies across telecommunication, computing, networking, and consumer electronics. Even though IEEE standardized Bluetooth as IEEE 802.15.1, the organization no longer maintains the standard. The Bluetooth SIG has drafted the core guidelines and the manufacturers should adhere to them in order to market the relevant device that features Bluetooth technology in any way. According to estimates, nearly 920 million units of mobile devices in various formats are embedded with Bluetooth circuit chips.

WHEN

Bluetooth 5.1 was announced by the Bluetooth SIG on January 21, 2019.

WHAT

Bluetooth 5.1 standard ships with plenty of new improvements to reduce power consumption in a definitive manner. Let’s delve into the topic to find out more.

DIRECTION FINDING

Bluetooth 5.1 includes Direction Finding, which helps the devices to identify the direction of Bluetooth signal transmission accurately. The new feature works by combining Angle of Arrival (AoA) and Angle of Departure (AoD) methods respective-
ly. The Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) controller in the recipient device will generate a set of data, which is used to calculate the directional angle between the recipient and transmission device. The generated data can be used to create Real-Time Locating Systems (RTLS) and Indoor Positioning Systems (IPS). The main purpose of the Direction Finding is to enable you to find out the lost device easily.

GATT CACHING

The attributes caching integrated with the Generic Attribute Profile (GATT) has been improved in Bluetooth 5.1 standard. Hence, your device will work faster with stable connectivity and low power consumption. The cache can be retained across connections, provided the client has a trusted relationship with a server. The end result is the non-repetition of the discovery process ending up in fewer connection drops and enhanced battery life.

RANDOMIZED ADVERTISING CHANNEL INDEXING
Bluetooth 5.1 provides support for Randomized Advertising Channel Indexing, which ensures that devices don’t have to follow the strict protocol during the transmission of the data packets. The devices have been given the freedom to select appropriate channels randomly, which reduces advertising packet collisions.

PERIODIC ADVERTISING SYNC TRANSFER

The Periodic Advertising Sync Transfer (PAST) included with Bluetooth 5.1 provides the ability for the devices to share the data that has been scheduled across multiple devices such as smartwatches and fitness trackers.

Some of the other improvements included with Bluetooth 5.1 are HCI support for debugging keys, Sleep Clock Accuracy Update, the addition of the ADI field in scan response data. The QoS and Flow Specification can now interact with each other, with the capability to classify the host channel. The specifications are updated in such a way that the behavior can be specified when the rules are violated. Interestingly, the Unit Keys feature has been removed from Bluetooth 5.1. That being said, the process involved in the transfer of content via Bluetooth is the same. However, you will find considerably more speed and less heat during the transfer of data using compatible devices. You can expect new devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops to come equipped with Bluetooth 5.1 by Q1 2020.

CONCLUSION

With Bluetooth 5.1, you can easily transfer images and videos between multiple mobile devices. Even though the process involved is pretty much identical to the existing Bluetooth 5 standard, the core advancements are in the internal coding.

Bluetooth 5.1 has been designed in a way that devices consume less heat coupled with improved connectivity. Sounds like a good enough upgrade to us. Happy connectivity!