Bluetooth 5.1 introduced with new features and enhancements


Are you one of those people who use Bluetooth wireless connectivity in your day to day life. Well, recently introduced Bluetooth 5.1 can make your life effortless with its latest features and latest enhancements. Keep reading to know more on Bluetooth v5.1.

Bluetooth wireless networking specification has evolved quite a bit over the years and the new Version 5.1 that debuted recently is bundled with lots of impressive features. Bluetooth SIG or Special Interest Group recently announced the 5.1 version of the wireless connectivity standard with a "direction-finding" feature and other improvements that make connectivity not only convenient but much more precise.

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Bluetooth 5.1 has not only become more refined but also boasts powerful connectivity capabilities that make centimeter-level location accuracy possible. This, if you track it down to the 5.0 version, is a huge improvement and needless to say, it will offer more reliable Bluetooth connections as well.

Pinpoint location accuracy with Bluetooth 5.1


One of the key features of the new Bluetooth 5.1 standard is that positioning systems can now track down any compatible device to the precision of centimeters thus making indoor positioning pinpoint. Earlier, Bluetooth made use of signal strength to determine how far away an object or device is but didn't have the capability to identify the direction and the exact location of the device.

So, how is it useful and what impact can it make to our lives?

Well, having the capabilities of both direction & distance any compatible device can find another device quite easily. But this is not just it. It's not just about finding your lost devices or measuring distances.

With IoT around, Smarthome is the future and Bluetooth 5.1 contributes unanimously in easing and enhancing the life of the people around. For instance, just imagine how awesome it would be for the music you are playing around at your home could follow you through different rooms as you keep moving rather than having it play loud from one corner of the home. This is how it can make a difference as Bluetooth 5.1 devices can now actually know your presence and determine your movement more accurately.

Likewise, your voice assistants would be more effective if it could know which room you are currently present as it could deliver targetted service with that very little bit of information.

How about your air conditioning system controls the temperature preset you prefer based on your indoor location and put it into an eco mode in the other rooms you just left. Isn't that great?

Faster & Reliable Connection with Less Power


Well, who would not like a faster reliable wireless connection when using your favorite Bluetooth device. Be it your wireless headphones, Bluetooth speaker, a smartwatch or any other compatible product, connectivity has always been a prima facie while choosing from thousands of products.

Normally when one device tries to connect to another using Bluetooth, it uses GATT or Generic Attribute Profile to perform service discovery and determine the compatibility profile which in turn consumes a lot of time & energy that has the potential of testing your patience on most occasions if it keeps doing it for minutes, if not few seconds. Such is the situation when Bluetooth 5.1 comes to rescue as it caches this information properly enabling the end user to skip service discovery if no change is effected. The caching enhancements of Generic Attribute Profile thus make connections prompt and save a lot of juice out of your device's battery. If that doesn't convince you yet, I wonder what will.

For me, even a pinch of that energy saved can be a lifesaver while using a wireless device.

Improved Bluetooth 5.1 Connection Advertising


How many times have you left the Bluetooth connectivity of more than two devices on active status at the same time that makes pairing and connection a total mess and unreliably slow?

Bluetooth devices broadcast their availability to all allowed nearby devices for connection using something called advertising channel. The predecessor version i.e 5.0 used to cycle strictly through channel 37, 38 & 39 in that same order over and over again thereby increasing the chances of multiple devices interfering with each other. However, Bluetooth 5.1 with advance advertising channel uses randomized indexing to select channels at random while broadcasting their readiness to connect.

Further, it can also save energy as two connecting devices in sync can now relay a SyncInfo data field to notify when it will advertise and hence the other device need not keep scanning again and again.

Downsides or Cons of Bluetooth 5.1


Every product & every technology has some shortcomings which are eventually fixed or enhanced in future updates, Bluetooth 5.1 being no exceptions. Technically speaking, we couldn't find anything, in particular, that is not properly engineered with Bluetooth 5.1 but the disadvantages of the Bluetooth technology at large such as slow data speeds, insecurity during connectivity due to exploits & vulnerability may still exist. Power consumption seems to improve on most grounds but providing an ultra-efficient Bluetooth connectivity is the need of the hour as we are fast approaching a new genre of smart house and futuristic technology with IoT and lot more round the clock.

Over and above, Bluetooth 5.1 is the next level connectivity standard that has lots to look for and with its precise presence-detection capability and pinpoint location tracking feature, smart devices are surely got to become more refined and smarter.

Do share your feedback on Bluetooth 5.1 and your expectation from the latest wireless connectivity standard recently introduced by Bluetooth SIG.


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