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SPECIFICATION: Bluetooth SIG adopts new Bluetooth core Version 2.1 + EDR
Posted by Arne Hess - on Wednesday, 01.08.07 - 19:35:41 CET under 01 - General News - Viewed 9415x
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Following our earlier coverage of Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, where version 2.1 was still a proposal, the Board of Directors of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), the more than 8,000-member strong trade association responsible for advancing Bluetooth wireless technology, yesterday announced the adoption of Core Specification Version 2.1 + EDR (Enhanced Data Rate) by unanimous approval. Through advances in security, simplified pairing and power consumption, the new Bluetooth specification will offer consumers a further improved Bluetooth experience.

"The simplified pairing process enabled by Version 2.1 + EDR has received overwhelmingly positive feedback from media, analysts and member companies. This leap forward in usability further improves the Bluetooth experience and makes the technology easy for anyone to enjoy," said Michael Foley, Ph.D., executive director of the Bluetooth SIG. "Also, in our effort to unite wireless technologies, Version 2.1 + EDR enables the ultra short range technology called Near Field Communication (NFC) for a pairing scenario that is as simple as touching the products together."

The Bluetooth SIG anticipates silicon vendors such as Broadcom, CSR, Infineon and Texas Instruments will have Bluetooth v2.1+ EDR chips available immediately and that the first products will follow by the end of the year.

Industry analyst and Bluetooth silicon expert Fiona Thomson of IMS Research stated, "In 2006 a significant proportion of Bluetooth ICs sold were Version 1.1 and 1.2 but this is rapidly changing as new designs transition to Version 2.0 or 2.1 + EDR. Initial demand for 2.1 + EDR indicates that following a period of migration, this version will become the default standard."

Key enhancements that are driving interest in Bluetooth Core Version 2.1 + EDR include:

  • Improved pairing - Before this version of the specification, there were many variations of the user experience when pairing Bluetooth devices. The experience depends on several factors, from the ease of finding menus on different devices to the use of security features. The improved pairing provides a consistent and intuitive pairing solution that includes finding devices, securing the link and authenticating the devices. The benefits of this secure, simple pairing include fewer steps for the user, improved security, and connection in a few seconds.
    The new pairing process enables all consumers to quickly start using their Bluetooth devices together. For example, pairing a Bluetooth headset and mobile phone is as easy as turning on the headset, selecting "Add Headset" from the phone menu, and then watching the phone confirm it has found, connected with an encrypted link and paired the headset. For pairing scenarios that require user interaction, eavesdropper protection makes a simple six digit passkey stronger than a 16 digit alphanumeric character random PIN code. Improved pairing also offers "Man in the Middle" Protection that in reality eliminates the possibility for an undetected middle man intercepting information.
    NFC technology may also be used in the new pairing system whereby a user would hold two devices together at a very short range to start the quick pairing process.
  • Enhanced Power Optimization - Bluetooth Version 2.1 + EDR offers further optimized power consumption through a feature called Sniff Subrating which increases current battery life by up to five times in many devices like mice, keyboards, watches, home sensor networks and medical devices. With further reduced power consumption, Bluetooth technology strengthens its position as the only viable wireless standard for connecting consumer devices that value low power consumption, low cost and ad hoc connectivity.

It's not yet known when we will see the first Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR ready devices in the market, but the new specs are promising to await the first devices!

Cheers ~ Arne

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