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Technology: Bluetooth 4.0 specification To Reach Smartphones in Fourth Quarter

Thursday, 04 March 2010 18:25

Written by Apocalypso

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bluetooth_topThe Bluetooth 4.0 wireless specification could start to appear in devices such as headsets, smartphones and PCs by the fourth quarter, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group said on Wednesday.

The new specification will be able to be used in lower-power devices than previous versions of the technology, including watches, pedometers, smart meters and other gadgets that run on coin-cell batteries, said Michael Foley, executive director of the Bluetooth SIG standards-setting organization. Previous versions of Bluetooth could only go into devices with triple-A or larger-capacity batteries.

Bluetooth 4.0 low energy technology will enable small and simple wireless tags that help you keep in touch with your environment, your belongings, and even your family. "These protocols are designed to be very efficient because they are delivering small bits of data," Golvin said.

Of course, Bluetooth technology has always been a low energy consuming and constant improvements over the years have made BT technology a very energy-conscious radio but to create a radio that works the way the consumer expects and deserves, as well as operate off a button cell battery is extremely complicated. In fact, that is why these home-of-the-future, sensor type applications have been discussed for years, but have not, as of yet, been truly feasible.

Bluetooth low energy will have two flavors, the magical mix that will allow this extremely low power consumption: dual-mode, which can support Classic and low energy or high speed and low energy enabled chips; and single-mode, or simple low energy enabled chip. The dual-mode chips will find their way into consumer devices where Bluetooth wireless technology already has a strong hold, i.e., mobile phones, PCs, laptops and more. The single-mode chips will be built into peripheral devices, i.e., pedometers, sensor-pods, key fobs and pretty much any other device you want to communicate with your Personal Area Network (PAN). Everything, in your PAN, from the tires in your car to the shoes on your feet, can now be connected, and communicate.

One example of the new Bluetooth low energy technology is a Bluetooth enabled wireless key fob that connects to and secures your mobile phone. At first glance it looks similar to the keyless entry fobs that come with most cars nowadays. But, there’s a key difference—Bluetooth low energy technology enables two-way connectivity. That means your phone can disable itself when it’s out of range of the fob and, at the same time, the fob itself can beep to notify you when you’ve left your phone behind.

Because it will work with nearly all mobile phones in the coming years, Bluetooth low energy technology also opens opportunities for compelling proximity applications for your phone—such as an application that enables a Bluetooth tag on your child’s backpack to warn when your child is about to wander out of sight. In short, Bluetooth low energy technology will enable connected, intelligent devices that keep you and your devices safer and more secure.

With the adoption of this Core Specification by the Bluetooth SIG, we have given designers the building blocks they need to create nearly any wireless solution their hearts’ desire. It’s expected to see the first products enabling Bluetooth low energy wireless technology by summer 2010 and I can’t wait to see what our membership comes up with. They have already done such amazing things with Bluetooth wireless technology, the future of low energy connectivity is here at last.

Source: IDG news

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