Bluetooth is an open communication technology based on low cost short range wireless data and voice communication. From audio streaming (car speakers) and location based services to data transmission (health monitors) and device networks (monitoring systems), Bluetooth plays an essential role in our daily lives. Since 1994, there have been 12 Bluetooth versions, each of which has driven the development of different industry applications. As per the 2022 Bluetooth market report, from 2013 to 2018, the compound growth rate of Bluetooth technology in smart homes is as high as 232%, which means that Bluetooth shipments in smart homes will increase more than 30 times in 5 years! By 2024, the annual shipment of Bluetooth audio transmission devices is supposed to reach 1.5 billion, an increase of 40% compared with 2019. Among them, Bluetooth beacons also began to catch people’s attention after the release of Bluetooth 4.0 and also reached an outbreak period after the release of Bluetooth 5.0. This article is a detailed introduction to Bluetooth 4.0 beacon vs Bluetooth 5.0 beacon(Bluetooth 5 vs Bluetooth 4). Read on to learn more.
Bluetooth 4.0 beacon vs Bluetooth 5.0 beacon
Launched in 2016, Bluetooth 5.0 beacon is designed to meet all the advanced privacy and security standards of the wireless world. The latest hardware is required to run smoothly and can’t work with older versions such as Bluetooth 4.0 beacon. So, how did Bluetooth turn out in these two versions? See the detailed introduction of Bluetooth 4.0 beacon vs Bluetooth 5.0 beacons below:
Compared to the popularity of Bluetooth version 4.0, Bluetooth beacons didn’t take off until Bluetooth 5.0 was released, because Bluetooth 5.0 is twice as fast as Bluetooth 4.0. Compared to Bluetooth 4.0’s 1Mbps, Bluetooth 5.0 beacon can reach speeds of up to 2Mbps, which meets most requirements for IoT compatibility for all. A 251-byte packet can be sent in 1060 microseconds on Bluetooth 5.0, while Bluetooth 4.0 has a set time frame of 2120 microseconds.
The range a Bluetooth beacon can support is one of the key factors in determining where it will be applied. Bluetooth 4.0 only supports indoor ranges of 10 meters and outdoor ranges of 50 meters, while Bluetooth 5.0 allows low power transmission and provides a wider range of data, so it can support outdoor ranges of 200 meters and indoor ranges of 40 meters. Thus, Bluetooth 5.0 beacon can be used in many more areas than Bluetooth 4.0 beacon.
3. Battery bandwidth
The Bluetooth Version 5.0 specification is improved for the Internet of Things, and Bluetooth 5 beacons use less power per device than Bluetooth 4 beacons. For example, with all beacon devices communicating via BLE, you can turn on Bluetooth longer without worrying about running out of battery.
Of course, hardware also plays a huge role in power consumption. Bluetooth 5.0 has a maximum transmission power of +10 dBm, while Bluetooth 5.0 has a maximum transmission power of +20 dBm.
Compatibility is an important factor for Bluetooth beacons. Bluetooth 4.0 beacon is only compatible with devices designed specifically for the Version 4 series, it is not compatible with Bluetooth 5 beacons, while Bluetooth version 5.0 is compatible with Bluetooth 4.0 series.
5. Hardware support
The Bluetooth 5 beacon meets many of the IoT requirements, thanks to its extraordinary range and faster speed. However, to get the most out of Bluetooth 5.0, you’ll need a whole new set of improved devices. For example, a Bluetooth adapter may be required to make the device work properly. By inserting a USB port, you can update the device to the latest version. However, Bluetooth 4.0 beacon is completely different in terms of hardware support, it is not compatible with any version family other than its own.
6. Message capacity
The Bluetooth version 5.0 specification includes a large message capacity of 255 bytes, providing more bytes for the actual data payload. However, Bluetooth 4.0 beacon has a small message capacity of only 31 bytes, which only gives 17-20 bytes for the actual data payload.
|Features||Bluetooth 4.0 beacon||Bluetooth 5.0 beacon|
|Indoor range||50m outdoors and 10m indoors||200m outdoors and 40m indoors|
|Battery bandwidth||The maximum transmission power of +10 dBm||The maximum transmission power of +20 dBm|
|Compatibility||Only works with Bluetooth 4.0 version series||Compatible with Bluetooth 4.0 and Bluetooth 5.0 version series|
|Messaging capacity||31 bytes, actual data payload is 17-20 bytes||255 bytes|
|Robustness in a congested environment||Lower||Higher|
Bluetooth 5.0 beacon is better than Bluetooth 4.0 beacon
The basic beacon technology supported by Bluetooth LE versions 4.0, 4.1, and 4.2 defines a simple device that actually uses one side of a full Bluetooth switch. Any Bluetooth device hoping to be discovered will regularly send “advertising” messages inviting the pairing and subsequent data exchange. The beacon’s advertisement contains a reserved address indicating that it has not requested a pairing and that it will be acted upon directly before a fixed length, short “payload” of data. When the distance is close, the consumer automatically receives a short beacon communication, but because of payload limitations, the relevant application must be triggered or a browser opened to provide useful information. This limitation limits Bluetooth beacon applications.
In Bluetooth 5 beacon, the available payload size of the advertising channel has been increased eightfold, from 37 bytes to 255 bytes, and the cascading mode can string packets together for longer messages. This means that consumers can receive useful information from beacon transmissions without having to open the application. (Bluetooth 5.0 beacon also conveniently provides improved channel coexistence, making it easier for beacons to move through crowded radio environments, ultimately saving power and extending battery life.)
The AD extension capabilities of Bluetooth 5 have recently seen an uptick in development centered on location-determination aspects of beacon technology, especially in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) space. Locating the location of a moving entity (person or object) at any given time enables people and asset tracking. Position locking is achieved by estimating the distance from the beacon to the receiver using the received signal strength indication (RSSI). Knowing the transmitted signal strength and the rate at which it decreases with distance enables simple calculations to be made that give the distance between the receiver and the beacon.
Beacons used for asset tracking
For asset tracking, the beacon deployment strategy is reversed. The Bluetooth beacon is fixed to the item to be tracked, and its signal is picked up by a network of Bluetooth LE nodes distributed around the infrastructure. Triangulation allows positioning to be obtained when three (or more) terminals receive the beacon’s signal. The assets involved can be almost anything or anyone.
The additional data payload of the beacon message in Bluetooth 5 means that a useful amount of data can be transmitted (for example, some measurement parameter or state) without recourse to an application or browser. Temperature measurement is an example that allows, for example, checking whether a pharmaceutical package has been stored beyond its temperature limit.
Should you choose Bluetooth 4.0 beacon or Bluetooth 5.0 beacon?
Based on our analysis of the Bluetooth 4.0 beacon vs Bluetooth 5.0 beacon, the Bluetooth 5 series is definitely better than Bluetooth 4. Compared with Bluetooth 4.0, Bluetooth 5.0 is the most prominent feature of faster speed and wider coverage. You can get up to twice the speed (2Mbps vs. 1Mbps), 4 times the range (800 feet vs. 200 feet), and 8 times the bandwidth.
Everyone wants to keep up with the new trends that are constantly emerging, in this case, upgrading to all sorts of tech gadgets doesn’t mean you should forget or throw out items that look “out of date.” It may be needed in the future. Also, you need to remember that you can’t have all the information at once. For any given transmission of information, the choice should be made between range and speed for a device. You’ll also have to consider whether your device will support Bluetooth 5.0. More decisions should be made based on your application needs.
Bluetooth 4.2 beacon and Bluetooth 5.0 beacon from MOKOSmart
As the Chinese leading IoT devices manufacturer with OEM&ODM services, MOKOSMART’s Bluetooth beacon has been advancing with the times. Beacons developed are mainly based on Bluetooth 4.2 and Bluetooth 5.0 features. Contact us and we will customize the optimized beacon solution for your project needs.
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