The Bluetooth SIG announced the adoption of updates to the Bluetooth Core Specification. Bluetooth 4.1 is described as an evolutionary update made to improve consumer usability with increased co-existence support for LTE, bulk data exchange rates, and aid developer innovation by allowing devices to support multiple roles simultaneously. The new release also lays the groundwork for IP-based connections, extending Bluetooth technology’s role as the “essential wireless link for the IoT.”
Usability updates come in three areas: coexistence (works seamlessly and cooperatively with LTE), better connections (makes the reconnection time interval flexible and variable), and improved data transfer.
Bluetooth 4.1 also allows devices to act as both a Bluetooth Smart peripheral and a Bluetooth Smart Ready hub at the same time. For example, a smart watch acts as a hub gathering information from a Bluetooth Smart heart rate monitor while simultaneously acting as a peripheral to a smartphone – displaying new message notifications from the phone.
Finally, Bluetooth got updates that make it possible for Bluetooth Smart sensors to use IPv6, giving developers and OEMs the “flexibility they need to ensure connectivity and compatibility.”