Bluetooth 4.0 Now Ready For Development; Products Coming This Year

Are you ready to learn about yet another protocol? Believe it or not, it's time. Bluetooth SIG, the entity behind all of the Bluetooth releases that we know and love (or don't know) has just revealed that version 4.0 is ready to be adopted. What's crazy is that version 3.0 was in this same position early last year, yet to date only a handful of devices (like the Samsung Wave smartphone) have shipped with Bluetooth 3.0 support.

It's hard to say why the Bluetooth SIG is moving on so quickly. Bluetooth 2.0 garnered an incredible amount of support. Nearly every major and minor portable electronics product shipping today has a BT 2.0 module (or BT 2.1), but despite the promise of power gains and increased speed with Bluetooth 3.0, the protocol never really seemed to take off. Usually benefits like that are easy to sell, but for whatever reason, most of the industry felt that Bluetooth 2.0 was simply good enough.

Now, the Bluetooth SIG is hoping to move on with Bluetooth 4.0, and unlike 3.0, this new protocol is specifically designed to fit into even smaller devices. So we're guessing that it won't be long before keyfobs, pocket watches and RFID metro cards have Bluetooth in them as well. Now, we could seriously see this taking off. Giving Bluetooth to products that couldn't use it before due to size issues opens up an entirely new market for the standard, and the "low energy technology" also means that it will be less draining for any device using BT. Early reports are suggesting that the first Bluetooth 4.0 products could ship as early as Q4 2010, or just in time for the holiday rush.


Kirkland, WA, USA

Hallmark Low Energy Feature Opens Doors to New Applications in Health Care, Fitness, Security and Home Entertainment

Kirkland, WA, July 6, 2010 - The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) today announced the formal adoption of Bluetooth Core Specification Version 4.0, with the hallmark feature, low energy technology. This final step in the adoption process signals to Bluetooth SIG members that the Bluetooth SIG Qualification Program is now open for qualification of all Bluetooth product types to the Version 4.0 Specification.

"The finalization of Bluetooth low energy wireless technology within the Core Specification is a monumental achievement," said Michael Foley, Ph.D., executive director, Bluetooth SIG. "Bluetooth wireless technology can now, with the hard work of our members and our world-class qualification program, really do it all."

Members may visit to download specification details from the Adopted Specifications web page. Test documentation, including requirements and tools to support member qualification efforts, is available on the member site as well.
Market Opportunity
In a report out last week from West Technology Research Solutions, the opportunity for Bluetooth low energy technology, the hallmark feature of Version 4.0, was found to be considerable. Said Kirsten West, principal analyst with WTRS: "Bluetooth low energy will be a significant contributor to the overall Wireless Sensor Network market, representing nearly half of all shipments in 2015. The advantage to this new protocol is that it is totally optimized for low power battery operation."

The hallmark feature enhancement to the Specification, Bluetooth low energy technology opens entirely new markets for devices requiring low cost and low power wireless connectivity, creating an evolution in Bluetooth wireless technology that will enable a plethora of new applications – some not even possible or imagined today. Many markets such as health care, sports and fitness, security, and home entertainment will be enhanced with the availability of small coin-cell battery powered wireless products and sensors now enabled by Bluetooth wireless technology.

Bluetooth low energy wireless technology, the hallmark feature of the v4.0 Bluetooth Core Specification, features:

• Ultra-low peak, average and idle mode power consumption
• Ability to run for years on standard coin-cell batteries
• Low cost
• Multi-vendor interoperability
• Enhanced range

Interoperability Testing and Qualification
Bluetooth SIG members may perform interoperability testing utilizing this adopted Bluetooth Core Specification at the SIG's 37th testing event, UnPlugFest (UPF) 37. This UPF is scheduled for 04-08 October, 2010, in Barcelona, Spain. Members are encouraged to use this opportunity to test their devices against the new Bluetooth v4.0 implementations as well as against current Bluetooth devices from the organization's device library.

For intensive, hands-on testing and qualification training, Bluetooth SIG members can take part in ATLAS, the Advanced Training Lab and Services program offered by the Bluetooth SIG. The one-week training program at the Bluetooth SIG labs in Kirkland, WA, leaves participants with the knowledge to develop their own Bluetooth testing and qualification expertise and ultimately build better Bluetooth products at lower qualification costs.

About Bluetooth® Wireless Technology
Bluetooth wireless technology is the global short-range wireless standard for personal connectivity of a broad range of electronic devices. The technology continues to evolve, building on its inherent strengths – small-form factor radio, low power, low cost, built-in security, robustness, ease-of-use, and ad hoc networking abilities. This evolution now provides manufacturers and consumers with three options for connecting wirelessly – Classic Bluetooth technology for use in a wide range of consumer electronics; Bluetooth high speed technology for the transfer of video, music and photos between phones, cameras, camcorders, PCs and TVs; and Bluetooth low energy technology for low power sensor devices and new web services within the healthcare, fitness, security, home entertainment, automotive and automation industries. More than eight new Bluetooth enabled products are qualified every working day and more than 19 million Bluetooth units are shipping per week. There are nearly three billion Bluetooth devices in the marketplace and that number climbs daily, making it the only proven wireless choice for developers, product manufacturers, and consumers worldwide.

About Bluetooth low energy Wireless Technology
Bluetooth low energy technology is a new low energy enhancement to the Bluetooth wireless technology Core Specification that paves the way to a vast new market for watches, remote controls, and healthcare and sports sensors. It has the potential to communicate with the hundreds of millions of Bluetooth enabled mobile phones, PCs and PDAs that are shipped each year. Consuming minimal power, it offers long-lasting connectivity, dramatically extending the range of potential applications and opening the door to brand new web services. Bluetooth low energy features ultra-low peak, average and idle mode power consumption; ultra-low cost plus small size for accessories and human interface devices (HIDs); minimal cost and size addition to handsets and PCs; global, intuitive and secure multi-vendor interoperability.

About the Bluetooth SIG
The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), comprised of leaders in the telecommunications, computing, consumer electronics, automotive and network industries, is driving development of Bluetooth wireless technology and bringing it to market. The Bluetooth SIG includes Promoter member companies Ericsson, Intel, Lenovo, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia and Toshiba, along with over 13,000 Associate and Adopter member companies. The Bluetooth SIG, Inc. headquarters are located in Kirkland, Washington, U.S.A. For more information please visit