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Bluetooth gets an update

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The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) today announced Bluetooth 4.1. Among other features, the new version improves consumer usability with increased co-existence support for LTE and bulk data exchange rates.

The new release also lays the groundwork for IP-based connections, extending Bluetooth technology’s role as the essential wireless link for the IoT.

‚”Bluetooth Smart technology put us on a rocket ship of growth, with Bluetooth annual product shipment projections skyrocketing to more than 4.5 billion in the next five years,‚” said Suke Jawanda, Bluetooth SIG CMO. ‚”We updated the Bluetooth specification to address this projected growth, making changes to give developers more control in assigning a role to their product, limiting interference with other wireless technologies, and allowing Bluetooth Smart products to exchange data faster and maintain connections with less manual intervention. These updates reflect the demand we see in the market. We will continue to sculpt Bluetooth wireless technology to extend its critical role in enabling the Internet of Things and ensure it is the very best solution for OEMs, developers and, ultimately, consumers.‚”

Improving Usability Bluetooth 4.1 extends the Bluetooth brand promise to provide consumers with a simple experience that ‚”just works.‚” Major usability updates come in three areas:

Empowering Developer Innovation Bluetooth 4.1 extends the Bluetooth Smart development environment by providing product and application developers with even more flexibility to create products that can take on multiple roles. With this new capability, a single device acts as both a Bluetooth Smart peripheral and a Bluetooth Smart Ready hub at the same time. For example, a smart watch acts as a hub gathering information from a Bluetooth Smart heart rate monitor while simultaneously acting as a peripheral to a smartphone — displaying new message notifications from the phone. As the Bluetooth Smart ecosystem grows, the Bluetooth SIG expects more solutions to play both a hub and peripheral role. Bluetooth 4.1 delivers this type of flexibility to Bluetooth Smart devices and application developers.

Enabling the Internet of Things By adding a standard means to create a dedicated channel, which could be used for IPv6 communications in the Core Specification, the groundwork is laid for future protocols providing IP connectivity. With the rapid market adoption of Bluetooth Smart and the coming addition of IP connectivity, all signs point to Bluetooth as a fundamental wireless link in the Internet of Things. These updates make it possible for Bluetooth Smart sensors to also use IPv6, giving developers and OEMs the flexibility they need to ensure connectivity and compatibility.

For the latest Bluetooth 4.1 technical details, tools and other information including an FAQ, brand guide and more, visit: https://www.bluetooth.org/en-us/specification/adopted-specifications

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