Feeds

WTF is... Bluetooth 4.0?

It's in the iPhone 4S, but does it matter?

Boost IT visibility and business value

Bluetooth goes fourth

Created by Nokia researchers in 2001 - when it was dubbed Wibree - Bluetooth Low Energy has a range of around half that of ‘classic’ Bluetooth - 50m to the latter's 100m - and a relatively low real-world throughput of 260Kb/s.

It’s not designed for voice communications. Instead, it's intended to allow devices to send data intermittently for a long time, using very little power - 0.01 to 0.5W - running for many months on a small button battery, with quick connection set-up times helping conserve power.

Nordic Semi µBlue Bluetooth 4.0 chip

Nordic Semi's µBlue chip has BT 4.0 on board

It’s possible for a BT LE device to scan for other gadgets, authenticate a link to one, send it data and then disconnect all in as little as 3ms.

One of the first devices to use the technology is a wireless heart-rate monitor for fitness fiends, based on a chip from Nordic Semiconductor. Existing gadgets like this one tend to be tied to a specific brand of receiver, often in a watch, like the well known Polar range, but Bluetooth 4.0 should make it easier to create devices that will work with a range of receivers.

More interestingly, the standard allows a device to use a computer or a phone to connect to its associated web service very simply. So a smart electricity meter might request that your computer establishes it a connection to send the latest reading to your power provider, for example.

Broadcom's BCM43142 802.11n Wi-Fi and BT 4.0 chip

Broadcom's BCM43142 chip, which provides 802.11n Wi-Fi and BT 4.0
Source: PCOnline

A Bluetooth 4.0 fitness device will automatically be able to send details to a health website, using your phone to provide the connection transparently. It should also be possible for a device to supply information that will help a phone or computer decide which apps are capable of using and presenting the data the gadget will be sending.

The Bluetooth SIG, the organisation that oversees the standard, expects most of the phones that will ship in 2012 to include the technology, thanks to its lower power consumption and silicon costs - it'll come for free in the way that most Bluetooth functionality is now built into devices' Wi-Fi chippery.

The essential guide to IT transformation

Next page: The future is Blue?

More from The Register

next story
Top Gun display for your CAR: Heads-up fighter pilot tech
Sadly Navdy kit doesn't include Sidewinder missile to blast traffic
FEAST YOUR EYES: Samsung's Galaxy Alpha has an 'entirely new appearance'
Wow, it looks like nothing else on the market, for sure
YES YES YES! Apple patents mousy, pressure-sensing iVibrator
Fanbois prepare to experience the great Cupertin-O
TV transport tech, part 1: From server to sofa at the touch of a button
You won't believe how much goes into today's telly tech
NVIDIA claims first 64-bit ARMv8 SoC for Androids
Mile-High 'Denver' Tegra K1 successor said to rival PC performance
XBOX One will learn to play media from USB and DLNA sources
Hang on? Aren't those file formats you hardly ever see outside torrents?
Giving your old Tesco Hudl to Auntie June? READ THIS FIRST
You can never wipe supermarket slab clean enough
Intel admits: Broadwell Core M chip looking a bit thin, no fans found at all
Chipzilla's 'cool' 14nm part to hit market this year
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.