Bluetooth v2.1 Brings Automatic Pairing

Less hassle, less power consumption, more security. Win, win and win.

While updates to Bluetooth progress far more regularly, smoothly and with less hubbub than those to Wifi, that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth the same attention…

At the butt end of last week version 2.1 + EDR (Enhanced Data Rate) of Bluetooth was ratified and it brings with it some genuinely significant improvements.

For a start the hit and miss process of pairing should now go far more smoothly as v2.1 features ‘Near Field Pairing’ (NFC) which will automatically pair two devices when they are held very close together. This is augmented by an unspecified upgrade to general pairing which will see headsets also ‘reduce steps for the user’ before connection.

On the security side of things a new six digit passkey has been introduced which offers far better data protection than the previous 16 digit alphanumberic PINs that could be intercepted during transmissions. Secure links will also be able to change their encryption keys periodically without breaking the connection.

The goodness doesn’t stop there either since phones equipped with the latest standard will likely last a lot longer too since v2.1 claims to consume up to 5x ”less” power than v2.0. A final cherry on the top is that v2.1 is fully backwards compatible with previous Bluetooth versions though you will need to pair v2.1 to v2.1 devices to enjoy the new functionality.

Products based on the new Bluetooth standard should start appearing before the end of this quarter. It’s clearly ”’never”’ a good time to upgrade your phone…

Bluetooth v2.1 + EDR Press Release

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