The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) has completed work on the new Bluetooth 4.0 specification and is officially ready to begin qualifying new devices for use with the technology. The most notable improvement is the support for devices with low-power consumption. This means Bluetooth can now be implemented in a wide range of devices and scenarios that have yet to be tapped until now.
The new low-power mode can operate from a coin-cell battery with little effect on the life of the charge. Devices that still rely on the traditional Bluetooth technology can take advantage of this mode by scaling the performance relative to the task at hand. The benefit of this flexibility is longer battery life and increased availability of wirelessly integrated devices.
The Bluetooth SIG is hoping to see devices using this technology appear during Q4 2010, but the hope is that it will continue to grow into the future, especially in industries that have so far been at the mercy of Bluetooth's previous requirements. One can see the possibilities that exist in the average home, but industries like health care are going to justify the need for accessible, low power, wireless capabilities.
Hardware manufactures can begin petitioning the Bluetooth SIG for qualification in their devices, and those interested in testing the new capabilities are welcome to attend UnPlugFest October 4-8 in Barcelona, Spain. There is a week-long class offered in Kirkland, Washington to those unable to make the trip abroad. ATLAS, the Advanced Training Lab and Services program, is a weeklong course that offers hand-on testing, and qualification training that will help develop stronger products while lowering qualification costs.
Bluetooth 4 is an encouraging development for the wireless community at large and a great sign for consumers and professionals alike. Members from all tiers of the SIG can visit Bluetooth.org for a complete analysis of the specifications and obtain documentation on the new qualification process.