Bluetooth 4.0 Becomes 'Smart': What It Means For You

Bluetooth 4.0 Becomes 'Smart': What It Means For You
Bluetooth 4.0, which can be found inside the iPhone 4S and the latest MacBook Air and Mac Mini, is being rebranded by the group that controls the technology. The Bluetooth Special Interest Group announced that Bluetooth 4.0 devices would be called Bluetooth Smart Ready and Bluetooth Smart, in order to differentiate the type of products featuring the technology.

What is Bluetooth 4.0?

Bluetooth 4.0 is the latest version of the wireless technology found in many electronic devices and peripherals today, including smartphones, tablets. The updated 4.0 version is only found in the iPhone 4S and the latest MacBook Air and Mac Mini, with more manufacturers expected to jump on board in the coming months. The improvements brought by Bluetooth 4.0 include drastically reduced power consumption via a low pulsing method that keeps devices connected without the need of a continuous information stream.

What is Bluetooth Smart?

Bluetooth 4.0 Becomes 'Smart': What It Means For You
This Bluetooth 4.0 heart monitor sends your heart rate stats to compatible smartphones. (Courtesy of Nordic Semiconductor)
Bluetooth Smart will represent a new breed of Bluetooth 4.0 peripherals: sensor-type devices like heart-rate monitors or pedometers that run on small batteries and are designed to collect specific pieces of information. These Bluetooth Smart devices include a single Bluetooth 4.0 radio that will connect only to Bluetooth Smart Ready devices.

What is Bluetooth Smart Ready?

Bluetooth Smart Ready will refer to devices that use a dual-mode radios, which can handle both the 4.0 technology, as well as classic Bluetooth abilities, such as transferring files, or connecting to a hands-free device. So, for example, the iPhone 4S, a Bluetooth Smart Ready smartphone, can connect to the Bluetooth Smart heart rate monitor with Bluetooth 4.0, but it will also work with classic Bluetooth devices, such as hands-free kits or your car’s stereo.

Here’s an overview of the new Bluetooth 4.0 compatibility scheme.

Bluetooth 4.0 Becomes 'Smart': What It Means For You
Courtesy of Bluetooth SIG

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