The Bluetooth Special Interest Group has now begun promoting Bluetooth 4.0 under the marketing name “Bluetooth Smart,” reports MacRumors. The new technology allows Bluetooth devices to communicate in unique ways, and should bring some exciting new devices for smartphones.
Considering that the iPhone 4S is the first phone on the market to support the new standard, the 4S is likely to become the testing ground for a whole host of possible new Bluetooth Smart devices. The Bluetooth SIG describes the new devices that will be categorized under Bluetooth Smart:
The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) announced two new brand extensions to its globally recognized logo today in an effort to create consumer awareness around compatibility for new devices implementing Bluetooth v4.0 – the Bluetooth Smart Ready trademark and the Bluetooth Smart trademark. Bluetooth Smart Ready devices are phones, tablets, PCs and TVs that sit at the center of a consumer’s connected world and implement a Bluetooth v4.0 dual mode radio. Bluetooth Smart devices are sensor-type devices like heart-rate monitors or pedometers that run on button-cell batteries and were built to collect a specific piece of information. Bluetooth Smart devices include only a single-mode low energy Bluetooth v4.0 radio.
Bluetooth Smart is a unique standard that will allow devices to communicate wirelessly using very little power. Because of its extremely low power use, and the unique way in which it enables devices to communicate, Bluetooth Smart enables a number of new uses, such as “heart-rate monitors, blood-glucose meters, smart watches, window and door security sensors, key fobs for your car, and blood-pressure cuffs—the opportunities are endless.”
Another exciting possibility that Bluetooth 4.0 brings to the table is a new system for contactless payments. Due to the new “Smart” standard, Bluetooth 4.0 could easily be used as an NFC-like e-wallet technology as well.
Because of a lack of Bluetooth Smart compatible devices, the iPhone 4S is so far unable to make much use of the new features enabled by Bluetooth Smart. The new marketing name was implemented as a way to raise awareness of compatibility of new devices with Bluetooth 4.0, as all devices that support the standard will include the Bluetooth Smart marketing name.
Apple has also integrated Bluetooth 4.0 support into their latest line of Macs, including their recently introduced Macbook Air and Mac Mini.