The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) announced the adoption of updates to the Bluetooth Core Specification. Bluetooth 4.1 is said to be an important evolutionary update to the wireless specification, which experienced a revolutionary update in July 2010 with Bluetooth Smart, the intelligent, low-energy technology enabling the Internet of Things (IoT). The updates will improve consumer usability with increased co-existence support for LTE, bulk data exchange rates and aid developer innovation by allowing devices to support multiple roles simultaneously. 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 4.1 extends the Bluetooth brand promise to provide consumers with a simple experience that "just works."
Major usability updates come in three areas:
- Coexistence - engineered to work seamlessly and cooperatively with the latest generation cellular technologies like LTE. Bluetooth and LTE radios can communicate in order to ensure transmissions are coordinated and therefore reduce the possibility of near-band interference. The coordination between the two technologies happens automatically, while the consumer experiences the high quality they expect.
- Better Connections - provides manufacturers with more control over creating and maintaining Bluetooth connections by making the reconnection time interval flexible and variable. This improves the consumer experience by allowing devices to reconnect automatically when they are in proximity of one another. The consumer can leave the room and upon returning, two recently used devices reconnect without user intervention.
- Improved Data Transfer - Bluetooth Smart technology provides bulk data transfer. For example, through this new capability, sensors, which gathered data during a run, bike ride or swim, transfer that data more efficiently when the consumer returns home.
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.
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.
Cheers ~ Arne