Bluetooth SIG Reveals 4.1 Spec
The Bluetooth Special Interest Group today announced Bluetooth 4.1, a revised specification that adds several new features to the short-range radio technology. The Bluetooth SIG characterizes this update as an evolutionary one that will still have a significant impact on consumers thanks to the changes. For example, the new spec improves compatibility with worldwide LTE bands so that it won't interfere with connections as often. It also improves device-to-device connections. According to the Bluetooth SIG, devices with 4.1 on board can automatically reconnect to recently-used devices upon coming back into range without requiring user feedback. The spec speeds up bulk data transfer so information from sensors (such as exercise gear) can be transferred more efficiently to other Bluetooth equipment when the user returns home. Bluetooth 4.1 includes new developer tools that will let them take advantage of dual-mode topology features. The spec also future proofs Bluetooth by laying the groundwork for IP-based communications. Bluetooth 4.1 devices will be able to setup dedicated communications channels allowing them to integrate with the "internet of things." The Bluetooth SIG didn't say when it expects Bluetooth 4.1 to reach end-user devices, but it did say that hardware can be updated over-the-air to include the new features.