New Bluetooth Spec Promises Easier Pairing, Lower Power Consumption

News Posted 02/04/07
Author: PV5150
Source: ars technica

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The Bluetooth Special Interest Group has officially unveiled Bluetooth 2.1, the latest evolution of the Bluetooth spec. Its full name—Bluetooth Core Specification Version 2.1 + EDR—may be a mouthful, but the improvements over its predecessor are a couple of tasty bites.

Fully backwards compatible with Bluetooth 2.0, version 2.1 offers lower power consumption and an improved device pairing experience. A new feature called “sniff subrating” optimizes battery life, which the Bluetooth SIG claims can result in a five-fold increase in battery life for peripherals…

Device pairing should be much easier with Bluetooth 2.1. Mobile phone owners wanting to pair a wireless headset with their phone should have an easier go of it. In most cases, they should be able to turn on their phone and select “add headset” from the phone’s menu. The phone and headset will then automatically pair with one another using an encrypted link. Security-conscious users can opt to use a six-digit passcode to verify the pairing.

Version 2.1 offers other ways of pairing as well. One such possibility is Near Field Communication, where users can hold two devices very close to one another to initiate the quick pairing process. Either way, it sounds like less of a hassle than the current system.

Further, according to the source, Bluetooth will next receive integration into WiMedia Alliance’s Ultra-Wideband spec. Which should give it quite a healthy kick and hopefully higher-speed data transfers.

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