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.
Bluetooth 4.2 Spec Targets Internet of Things
The Bluetooth Special Interest Group today introduced Bluetooth 4.2, an updated specification that means to connect more devices and things to the internet. Bluetooth 4.2 supports IPv6 and 6LoWPAN, which allows Bluetooth Smart devices to connect directly to the internet through a router, rather than requiring an in-between device such as a tablet or smartphone.
Bluetooth 5 Released By Bluetooth SIG
The Bluetooth Special Interest Group has released the core Bluetooth 5 specification. Bluetooth 5 was first announced earlier this year and is now available in final form to technology companies.
Google Refreshes Nearby Connections API for P2P Interactions
Google today released the Nearby Connections 2.0 API to developers, which will eventually help Android devices find, connect to, and communicate with other nearby devices all on their own. The vision is to make it possible for Android handsets to automatically share information with internet-of-things-type devices, such as personal temperature preferences with thermostats, Netflix playlists with connected television sets, and so on.
Bluetooth's IoT Ambitions Boosted By Mesh Networking
The Bluetooth SIG today added support for mesh networking to its core Bluetooth specification. The move targets the internet-of-things, smart homes, and business applications where simple connections between many devices are needed.