The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) said Wednesday that Bluetooth 4.0 has been finalized, and will deliver both a boost in potential range and a new low-energy mode that could add the technology to watches, remote controls, and sensors using button-cell batteries. Although samples of 4.0 were shopped around in December 2009, the group expects to push the new version to manufacturers by the end of Q2 2010.
"Bluetooth v4.0 is like 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," the group said in a press release.
A few examples were provided, explaining that pedometers and glucose monitors would run only low energy technology. Watches would use the low energy technology during the collection of data from fitness sensors while using the Classic Bluetooth technology to shoot the information over to a PC or mobile phone. Naturally, PCs and mobile phones would use the complete package.
Although v4.0 will be available by the end of next month, don't expect devices to appear immediately. The SIG said that end-user gadgets with Bluetooth 4.0 should arrive by late 2010 or early 2011. That should give manufacturers plenty of time to saturate the market with Bluetooth 3.0 devices before switching over to the new specification.