Skip to main content

Bluetooth 4.0 Coming Later This Year

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) said on Wednesday that version 4.0 of the wireless specification may be incorporated into devices by the end of the year. The new spec will bring Bluetooth to a whole new set of gadgets including watches, pedometers, and all other low-power devices that run on coin-cell batteries.

This is a huge step considering that Bluetooth only resided in devices that used triple-A or larger capacity batteries. Michael Foley, executive director of the Bluetooth SIG, said that 4.0 combines both the high-speed data transfer capabilities provided by Bluetooth 3.0 with the new ability to transmit small bursts of data over short ranges.

The IGD News Service reports that Bluetooth 4.0 won't offer users a major improvement in actual battery life-- only a nominal improvement at best. Foley provided an example, saying that Bluetooth 4.0 radios will see the same battery drain as Bluetooth 3.0 radios when used to sync headphones to music players, or to connect smartphones to laptops.

Charles Golvin, principal analyst at Forrester Research, said that Bluetooth 4.0 will be better than the competition because it can be deployed across a wide variety of devices, giving the tech a head start over the other technologies. Unfortunately, the data transfer rate hasn't improved: Bluetooth still shoots data from device to device at a maximum rate of 24Mb/s (BT 3.0 + HS).

  • industrial_zman
    what?!? when did they release bluetooth 3.0? shouldn't this be like bluetooth 3.1 instead, like they did with 1.0 to 1.1 to 1.2 and 2.0 to 2.1 with edr? or can't they can tack on a suffix like intel does with their low powered devices (LV, ULV). it looks like they are just trying to play the numbers game seeing "how man generations can we fluff our numbers with" without having any real performance difference.
  • freiheitner
    I'm still waiting for a version of Bluetooth which works more than 50% of the time. Name brand USB Bluetooth dongle, name brand Bluetooth headphones, full OS support, they always "pair" but usually fail to "connect". Or they disconnect if I switch to a different app which also plays music.
  • JimTech
    I'd like to see Bluetooth items (like headsets) work as well as wired cousins. I have never found a BT headset to sound anywhere close to a wired headset either in my opinion or "the listener".
  • reciprocalinhibition
    I use A2DP Audio Profile to link my cell phone(s) to my car stereo, but the quality is still terrible because of echo. The second scratch is that Andriod won't play FLAC, and regardless BT doesn't have enough bandwidth to stream loss-less audio anyways. Other than for data transfer the technology is overrated.

    BT for sound transmission is a major FAIL!

    Back to the drawing board please. This technology seems to have major potential, but currently I rate it slightly more useful than a Ham radio.
  • reciprocalinhibition
    and where is this BT 3.0 with "device to device at a maximum rate of 24Mb/s (BT 3.0 + HS)"

    Marketing FAIL
  • dante10
    4.0 already?