The Future of Bluetooth

Posted In iPhone - By Sean On Thursday, November 3rd, 2011 With 0 Comments

A small update that Apple released with the new iPhone was an update to the Bluetooth Antenna. Most phones and mobile devices that utilize the Personal Area Network technology of Bluetooth are currently using Bluetooth 2.2, and yet the iPhone and newer Macbook Air’s are using Bluetooth 4.0. The update on the Macbook Air’s was a silent one, something that appeared with the new models but wasn’t talked about.

The beauty with Bluetooth is the fact that it is a very low power usage technology. Some might remember cell phones from days gone buy that had the original version of Bluetooth on it. The battery would die quite quickly with a headset attached and phone calls didn’t’ always sound the best. It was an imperfect technology that had a lot of promise. 1.0 wasn’t a very good showcase of what Bluetooth could really do. 2.0 showed a lot more initiative and had a lot more features. Adding the support to do many complex things, rather than just transmit a single band of audio. AD2P was a service that allowed certain headphones to also play music over the small network. Wireless audio was something that had a lot of uses. Wireless music in headphones, your car, or even stereos at home. The stronger more efficient band of Bluetooth also allowed phones to be connected for quite some time without there being much issue at all or negative battery life.

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2.2 is the current version and this is the version that most phones carry in their antenna, including almost all computers on the market currently. Wireless mice, keyboards, headphones, projectors and even some caller ID bracelets are common place now and bluetooth 2.2 is why.

So why, might you ask, did Apple up the ante as they say, and include 4.0 on the newest iPhone and Macbook Airs?

Apple has a plan for Bluetooth. While it is useful now, there is more to be done, or so Apple obviously thinks. 4.0 is easily the most battery efficient type of connection to date. Making good use of the limited space in the iPhone, the battery is something to speak highly about, but still it is limited. The extra juice that Bluetooth does not use is noticeable. Currently I leave bluetooth on all the time without any issue. But 4.0 has another really useful feature. Something that isn’t huge right now, but will get bigger. Information sharing.

Imagine walking into your living room and a low level signal is sent to your lamps, telling them that you are in the room, and thus the lights turn on. Or stepping on a scale that doesn’t have a screen, but transmits the data to your iPhone and helps you keep track of it daily? How about sitting down in your car and the seat adjusts to your preferences because your phone told the car who was sitting in it? These are the types of things that are going to be commonplace soon. When you really think about it, it does feel like a step into the future. Bluetooth 4.0 has a lot of upward growth to go through, but there is so much room for it to grow.

Currently there are very few devices that use 4.0, as I said before, only the newest Macbook Airs and the newest iPhone 4S. Apple is again pushing the envelope for what they are going to build in the future and giving the tools to the people doing most of the building. The developers. Currently there is already an App on the App store that keeps track of certain data from special bathroom scales. Things are changing, phones are going to start becoming more critical tools in our everyday life that control a lot more than who we talk to or text.

Bluetooth 4.0 is part of that transition.

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