Thursday, April 22, 2010
With Bluetooth 3.0 barely out the door, the Bluetooth SIG finalized the next version - Bluetooth 4.0. It builds on the previous version, but adds a new low power mode, which can be used by watches, training equipment and so on.
Bluetooth 3.0 brought high-speed transfers by piggy-backing on 802.11 technology and achieved maximum speeds of 24Mbps (vs. 3Mbps for 2.0 + EDR). Version 4.0 on the other hand is low-bandwidth, but low power enough to work on cell-button powered devices.
Use cases include sending Caller ID info to watches, data from pedometers, glucose monitors and so on without drying out the battery.
However, Bluetooth 4.0 incorporates classic Bluetooth, high-speed Bluetooth and low-power Bluetooth. According to the Bluetooth SIG, devices are now not limited to 10 meter range - ranges can go up to 60 meters.
Bluetooth 3.0 is not very popular among mobile phones right now, except for support in the odd Samsung, most new phones stick to 2.0 or 2.1 with Enhanced Data Rate (EDR).
The first Bluetooth 4.0 devices are expected to appear in late 2010 or early 2011. This could mean that mobile phones manufacturers will probably make the jump straight to Bluetooth 4.0 skipping ver. 3.0 altogether.