Expanding the Wild Blue Yonder

Stefanie Diesi, Staff Engineer

Last month, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) announced yet another new Bluetooth® spec, called Bluetooth 5. This new release, out at the end of this year or early next, quadruples the range and doubles the speed of the previous spec. When they hit the market, Bluetooth 5-enabled devices will be able to connect at speeds up to 50 Mbps and distances up to 800 feet. To put this in perspective, that’s like connecting your phone to a device over two and a half football fields away!

Increased Range

I’ve seen quite a bit of banter about how people will use this new technology. Much of it centers around the improvements and range and potential for indoor navigation. I’ve even seen articles about how the new Bluetooth capability will allow you to walk outside without losing connection. However, I’m less excited about this because, like the current Bluetooth capability, my hearing doesn’t extend through buildings either.

Increased Speed

I’m surprised by how few people are talking about advantages of the increased speed. Nowadays, Bluetooth devices and wearables are limited to audio and data only: smart watches and Bluetooth speakers and headsets. If this is of interest to you, you can check out things like a Promotional Bluetooth Speaker which can be customised and is available in different designs. However, I can’t help but wonder

tonya image

Photo credit: Brad Clement / Spindrift Films

if the new spec will promote a breakthrough in video devices. At 50 Mbps, it would be possible to stream HD video over Bluetooth.


Just think of all the possibilities this opens up!

  • How about a helmet camera and connected screen for rock climbers? Someone on the ground could watch the live feed and suggest a better handhold or a different route.
  • What if you could connect your phone to your baby monitor without downloading another app and signing up for another account?
  • The new technology could allow people to share a TV screen the same way people currently share a speaker in “party mode.” At family reunions, everyone could share pictures and videos without passing a phone around the room.
  • I could also see a new kind of Bluetooth-capable media hard drive. It would allow you to take your entire video library to the park or, better yet, on the airplane so your kids don’t decide they have to watch the only movie that wouldn’t fit on your tablet’s hard drive.

These are just some examples of what could be engineered when this new technology becomes available.

Of course there are technical hurdles that need to be addressed. Battery life is probably very high on that list. There are also the issues of increased processing power and the memory required to encode and decode video streams as compared to audio. Only time will tell if it’s practical to stream video with Bluetooth 5. But I can’t wait to find out.



Cardinal Peak
Learn more about our Audio & Video capabilities.

Dive deeper into our IoT portfolio

Take a look at the clients we have helped.

We’re always looking for top talent, check out our current openings. 

Contact Us

Please fill out the contact form below and our engineering services team will be in touch soon.

We rely on Cardinal Peak for their ability to bolster our patent licensing efforts with in-depth technical guidance. They have deep expertise and they’re easy to work with.
Diego deGarrido Sr. Manager, LSI
Cardinal Peak has a strong technology portfolio that has complemented our own expertise well. They are communicative, drive toward results quickly, and understand the appropriate level of documentation it takes to effectively convey their work. In…
Jason Damori Director of Engineering, Biamp Systems
We asked Cardinal Peak to take ownership for an important subsystem, and they completed a very high quality deliverable on time.
Matt Cowan Chief Scientific Officer, RealD
Cardinal Peak’s personnel worked side-by-side with our own engineers and engineers from other companies on several of our key projects. The Cardinal Peak staff has consistently provided a level of professionalism and technical expertise that we…
Sherisse Hawkins VP Software Development, Time Warner Cable
Cardinal Peak was a natural choice for us. They were able to develop a high-quality product, based in part on open source, and in part on intellectual property they had already developed, all for a very effective price.
Bruce Webber VP Engineering, VBrick
We completely trust Cardinal Peak to advise us on technology strategy, as well as to implement it. They are a dependable partner that ultimately makes us more competitive in the marketplace.
Brian Brown President and CEO, Decatur Electronics
The Cardinal Peak team started quickly and delivered high-quality results, and they worked really well with our own engineering team.
Charles Corbalis VP Engineering, RGB Networks
We found Cardinal Peak’s team to be very knowledgeable about embedded video delivery systems. Their ability to deliver working solutions on time—combined with excellent project management skills—helped bring success not only to the product…
Ralph Schmitt VP, Product Marketing and Engineering, Kustom Signals
Cardinal Peak has provided deep technical insights, and they’ve allowed us to complete some really hard projects quickly. We are big fans of their team.
Scott Garlington VP Engineering, xG Technology
We’ve used Cardinal Peak on several projects. They have a very capable engineering team. They’re a great resource.
Greg Read Senior Program Manager, Symmetricom
Cardinal Peak has proven to be a trusted and flexible partner who has helped Harmonic to deliver reliably on our commitments to our own customers. The team at Cardinal Peak was responsive to our needs and delivered high quality results.
Alex Derecho VP Professional Services, Harmonic
Yonder Music was an excellent collaboration with Cardinal Peak. Combining our experience with the music industry and target music market, with Cardinal Peak’s technical expertise, the product has made the mobile experience of Yonder as powerful as…
Adam Kidron founder and CEO, Yonder Music
The Cardinal Peak team played an invaluable role in helping us get our first Internet of Things product to market quickly. They were up to speed in no time and provided all of the technical expertise we lacked. They interfaced seamlessly with our i…
Kevin Leadford Vice President of Innovation, Acuity Brands Lighting
We asked Cardinal Peak to help us address a number of open items related to programming our systems in production. Their engineers have a wealth of experience in IoT and embedded fields, and they helped us quickly and diligently. I’d definitely…
Ryan Margoles Founder and CTO, notion