The Bluetooth Special Interest Group, more commonly known as the Bluetooth SIG, announced way back in April 2010 that the Bluetooth 4.0 specification is “ready to roll” and that it’ll start appearing in devices by the end of that year. One of the most promising features that comes with the new version of Bluetooth is an ultra low power mode that enables devices powered by watch batteries to have Bluetooth connectivity. Think of things like pedometers, glucose monitors, watches, those type of things. The thing is Bluetooth 4.0 low energy, BLE for short, wasn’t very easy for consumers to recognize, so today the Bluetooth SIG has announced two new marketing phrases that should start appearing on devices quite soon: Bluetooth Smart and Bluetooth Smart Ready. What’s the difference? The press release makes it quite clear:
Bluetooth Smart Ready devices can connect to the billions of Bluetooth devices already in use today and also to new Bluetooth Smart devices just starting to enter the market. Bluetooth Smart devices, due to their revolutionary low power consumption, will only connect with products denoted with the Bluetooth Smart Ready mark, plus those designated specifically by product manufacturers.
Devices that are already “Bluetooth Smart Ready” include Apple’s iPhone 4S and … well, that’s all we know for now. Expect to see just about every smartphone announced in 2012 be Smart Ready. What’s key here is Bluetooth Smart devices. Right now, they’re virtually nonexistent. Ever since Apple introduced the multi touch enabled iPod nano (pictured above) and people started shoving them in cases that let them wear it around their wrist, many folks have been wondering when Apple, and other players, would enter the wrist watch business. We’ve already seen Motorola announce the ACTV, but sadly it only connects to the RAZR at this point.
Will Bluetooth Smart be driving force behind a resurgence of wrist worn products?