The power of Bluetooth is set to explode when the next version of the wireless technology is released at the turn of the year. Bluetooth 5 will offer eight times the broadcasting capacity, have four times the range, and run twice as fast as current Bluetooth technology, the organization responsible for development of Bluetooth announced on Thursday.

The increased broadcasting capacity could pave the way for the introduction of “connectionless” data transfers, meaning that the need to pair a Bluetooth device like a headset or wireless keyboard with a mobile app or computer program may become a thing of the past. Longer range means that it will be possible to use Bluetooth devices throughout the home, and higher speeds will make these devices more responsive.

Bluetooth 5 is likely to be used widely in sensors installed in consumer goods that connect to the Internet of Things. The new wireless technology will also be installed in beacons used by retailers to send information and offers to shoppers as they pass by or through a store without the need for a specific app.

More than 370 million Bluetooth-enabled beacons are projected to ship by 2020, according to ABI Research.

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