"Bluetooth v4.0 throws open the doors to a host of new markets for Bluetooth manufacturers and products such as watches, remote controls, and a variety of medical and in-home sensors. Many of these products run on button-cell batteries that must last for years versus hours and will also benefit from the longer range enabled by this new version of the Bluetooth specification," said Michael Foley, Ph.D., executive director of the Bluetooth SIG.
Bluetooth v4.0 combines three specifications in one--Classic Bluetooth technology, Bluetooth low energy technology, and Bluetooth High Speed technology--all which can be combined or used separately in different devices according to their functionality. For example, sensors like those in pedometers and glucose monitors will run only low energy technology, thus saving power, cost and space within the device. Watches will take advantage of both low energy technology while collecting data from fitness sensors on the body as well as Classic Bluetooth technology when sending that information to a PC, or separately displaying caller ID information when wirelessly connected to a mobile phone. Mobile phones and PCs, which support the widest range of uses, will utilize the full package with Classic, low energy and high speed technology running side by side.
The specification for Bluetooth v4.0 was first introduced in December 2009. Samples of sensors utilizing this specification are available from some silicon manufacturers today. Integration of Bluetooth low energy wireless technology within the Bluetooth specification will be completed before June 30, 2010. Upon completion, mobile phone and PC manufacturers may enhance their Bluetooth product offerings with support for Bluetooth low energy wireless technology. End-user devices with are expected to reach the market in late 2010 or early 2011.