Remember Bluetooth 3.0 + High Speed - that incredibly excited amalgamation of Bluetooth and WiFi technology? Us too. Remember seeing it installed into exciting new products? No, us neither. So let's hope for better with Bluetooth 4.0...
The Bluetooth SIG (Special Interest Group) has confirmed this next gen standard has now been finalised and its key focus will be on low energy consumption. How low? It doesn't give exact figures, but SIG says - depending on the volumes of data being sent - that devices such as pedometers could run for months on a single charge. SIG also talks about glucose monitors, watches and so forth which have largely shunned Bluetooth up to now - even if there have been some notable exceptions.
"Bluetooth v4.0 throws open the doors to a host of new markets for Bluetooth manufacturers and products such as watches, remote controls, and a variety of medical and in-home sensors," said Bluetooth SIG executive director Michael Foley. "Many of these products run on button-cell batteries that must last for years versus hours and will also benefit from the longer range enabled by this new version of the Bluetooth specification. "
When talking about "longer range" Foley is referencing the fact Bluetooth 4.0 will also be capable of integrating with WiFi signals just like v3.0 + High Speed. SIG now refers to this functionality as 'Classic Bluetooth', far less of a mouthful.
So Bluetooth continues to evolve and defy critics who claimed the standard would die off many years ago. On the other hand, whether it will be more widely adopted than Bluetooth 3.0 + High Speed remains to be seen. Consumer devices featuring Bluetooth 4.0 will launch in between late 2010 and early 2011, just so long as companies care to implement it.