The Bluetooth Special Interest Group has just announced that Bluetooth 4.0 is “ready to roll” (odd considering they say the standard will not be finalized until the end of Q2) and that devices using the new specification will be on the market by the end of this year. What’s new in Bluetooth 4.0? It’s basically an all encompassing standard, meaning it can operate in “classic” Bluetooth mode, much like devices do today. It can operate in low power mode, with such uses as connecting to a watch or glucose monitor mentioned. It can also operate in high speed mode, for when you really need to move data back and forth to something like your PC or TV.
Gartner Research says that Bluetooth 4.0 will be one of the top “10 Mobile Technologies to Watch in 2010 and 2011”. Heavy words, but believable. With cameras getting larger resolution cameras, and mobile phones starting to shoot HD video, file transfer times using current Bluetooth technology are down right horrible. The benefits of low power mode are also obvious. If I were a watch maker I’d be thrilled, since people finally have an excuse to buy a wrist watch again. I can’t count the number of times I’ve missed calls on my Nexus One because the ring tones are simply not loud enough, and the little engine vibrating inside is absolutely terrible. Having something I can glance at, and also not have to recharge every 48 hours, would be extremely useful.
In summary: Bluetooth 4.0 will be finalized by the end of June, devices using the technology should be out by the end of this year, or early 2011. Nothing to get your panties in a bunch for … yet.