Bluetooth getting a major upgrade with version 4.0

When Bluetooth first arrived, everyone thought it won’t be really popular. But today almost every device that can afford to have bluetooth has it includng mobiles, laptops, cars, mp3 players etc.Now on its third major version, Bluetooth is about to hit another milestone with the release of Bluetooth 4.0, due before the end of the year.

Bluetooth 4.0 includes one major update designed to make it accessible on devices with lower battery power capacities than ever before. The new spec will enable Bluetooth to be embedded into just about anything, no matter how small the battery is: Watches, pedometers, and “other gadgets wthat run on coin-cell batteries,” according to PC World. (Bluetooth pacemaker, anyone?)

With current versions of Bluetooth, devices must have at least a AAA-cell battery capacity (not the same as an actual AAA battery, mind you) to operate, which puts it out of reach for devices that sit dormant most of the time. The goal with the new update is to let devices send short bursts of data sporadically while preserving their overall battery life. I’m thinking Bluetooth weather stations and possibly even security camera gear.

All of Bluetooth’s earlier features will remain in the spec, including the high-speed and longer-range modes that are available to manufacturers based on how their devices are intended to be used. In fact, devices using Bluetooth in a way that is largely traditional — keyboards, cell phone headsets, and the like — won’t save much power with Bluetooth 4.0, if any at all.

As well, Bluetooth devices can now piggyback on Wi-Fi networks to achieve even faster and longer-range transmissions.

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