A new version of the Bluetooth communications standard is under development by the BSIG (Bluetooth Special Interest Group), the group of firms in charge of overseeing the improvements and final versions of the specification. The new version that would be called Bluetooth 4.0 promises important improvements, especially in those related to the design of chips, since these will consume much less energy than that demanded by current models, which will open its implementation to new products and designs.
The executive director of the group, Michael Foley, highlights that “the new ultra-low-power chips will allow the introduction of Bluetooth connectivity in new devices and markets that were previously unthinkable”.
Although it does not go into greater detail, everything suggests that devices such as watches, pedometers, as well as any device related to the health and wellness sector are going to take advantage of their new specifications. Current wireless devices, see Bluetooth-based hands-free, require constant battery recharges to be able to be used. Thus, the main concern in this new specification will be to reduce the power consumption of the chips to open up to new markets.
The first devices to incorporate Bluetooth 4.0 could be digital cameras, hands-free, Tablets PCs, as well as video game consoles, which are expected to be launched on the market during the third quarter of the year. Later it will be necessary to wait until the fourth quarter of 2010 for its launch on computers. In addition, Bluetooth 4.0 will be compatible with the rest of devices manufactured for previous versions of Bluetooth. This new Bluetooth specification will support speeds similar to Wi-Fi wireless networks, which already supported Bluetooth 3.0, although thanks to these advances, it will be encouraged that devices can make the leap to the Wi-Fi 802.11 standard, which allows transfers of up to 25 Mbits per second. The promoters of this new specification assure that, in addition, this new standard will be able to be executed for years in the current standard batteries, that it will have a low cost but an improved action ratio and that interoperability between manufacturers is guaranteed.