Feeds

Bluetooth Smart to tap IPv6-powered Internet of Things after 4.1 upgrade

Smartwatches and other wireless gadgetry to benefit too

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

The brains behind Bluetooth have published a new version of the wireless peripheral specification which will, they claim, enhance the standard’s support for the very low-power gizmos that make up the Internet of Things.

Bluetooth’s suitability for wearable kit, from smartwatches to health monitors and fitness gauges, will be improved too.

Bluetooth 4.1’s central Internet of Things (IoT) upgrade is the ability to establish dedicated communication channels between devices. With this mechanism in place, a future version of Bluetooth will be able to direct IPv6 traffic, turning Bluetooth into a true internet-compatible network along the lines of Wi-Fi.

Nissan Nismo Watch

Bluetooth 4.1 will free smartwatches from smartphones to talk to cars and other kit

That, says the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), the organisation that oversees the standard, positions Bluetooth as the ideal way to link up tens of thousands – if not millions – of very low-power devices, such as the nodes of a sensor network.

This feature is part of Bluetooth’s Logical Link Control and Adaptation Protocol (L2CAP), which in Bluetooth 4.1 also gains the ability to transmit data in bulk. The SIG’s use-case example: a wearable monitor that tracks a swimmer's progress will be able to fling over details of all those laps once it’s back in the changing room and in contact with the owner’s phone.

Speaking of device connections, the SIG promised Bluetooth 4.1 will improve the re-establishment of connections dropped because the communicating devices temporarily move out of range, or one turns off its radio. The reconnection time interval is now flexible.

“The consumer can leave the room and upon returning, two recently used devices reconnect without user intervention,” said the SIG - and about time, too.

Bluetooth Smart – formerly called Bluetooth LE, the key, low-power system added to Bluetooth 4.0 – devices will be able to act as both hubs and peripherals under 4.1. So a smartwatch can access data from a pedometer while still simultaneously operating as a peripheral, displaying notifications sent over from a host phone.

Tie that in to the IPv6 compatibility and the watch itself can route pedometer data out to the internet and receive the returned results of server number-crunching. In essence, it will allow smart devices to be less dependent on phones, in turn allowing gadget-makers to come up with more capable kit.

Not that many will be able to cut their smartphone shackles entirely, not least because that will provide their main route to the internet. So 4.1 adds techniques to allow Bluetooth LE to operate more harmoniously with 4G/LTE radios on phones and fondleslabs by automatically co-ordinating transmissions through the two to minimise near-band interference.

The Bluetooth 4.1 specification is available to peruse now. Gadgets supporting the new release could appear next year. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.