Bluetooth 4.0 low-energy standards revealed
The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) has revealed the latest feature of Bluetooth 4.0 specifications, aiming at helping provide service for wireless low-energy applications.
Sig announced the Bluetooth Core Specification Version 4.0 — 10 months after Bluetooth 3.0 specs were revealed — although Bluetooth 3.0 and the most recent specs are designed for different purposes. Specifically, Bluetooth 4.0, according to Sig, is designed for the health, fitness and security industries, with Continua Health Alliance already backing the format.
Single-mode implementation will lead to ultra-low power idle mode in mobile devices, while dual-mode will provide chip integration directly into a Bluetooth controller, but for a lower cost than previously capable.
“With today’s announcement the race is on for product designers to be the first to market,” said Michael Foley, Bluetooth SIG director, in a statement. “Bluetooth low energy modules for all sorts of new products may now be qualified – this is an important step towards our goal of enabling new markets with Bluetooth wireless technology. For example, the Continua Health Alliance has already selected Bluetooth low energy technology as a transport for the next version of its guidelines.”
Bicycles, footballs and other athletic equipment could use sensors to help track speed, distance, and other features, Bluetooth Sig officials noted.
Although Bluetooth 3.0 and Bluetooth 4.0 are different, it’s possible the technologies could be combined for use in mobile phones and other consumer products. Ideally, a combination of the faster data rates of Bluetooth 3.0 and low-power technology of Bluetooth 4.0 could be used for different apps and functions on the mobile phone.
There is talk the new Bluetooth specification could be able to compete with barcodes, radio frequency identification, and similar technologies — but analysts say it’s too early to begin speculating, as it will take some time before manufacturers are able to work out major problems.
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