The limitless possibilities of Bluetooth 4.0

Recently, Bluetooth SIG met with tech companies to explore the many applications of its wireless technology.

Suke Jawanda, CMO of the Bluetooth SIG Lynn La/CNET

One of the more interesting things that Suke Jawanda, chief marketing officer of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), ever saw enabled with Bluetooth was a toothbrush. It measures how long you brush and the number of strokes you make.

"It's all these telematics from your toothbrush that are tracked and sent to an app," he said. "And it's like...what can't be connected?"

For Jawanda and everyday consumers, it seems like everything these days features the Bluetooth logo on its box. In fact, in 2011, 50 Bluetooth-enabled products are shipped out every second. Some of these things can border on overkill, while others have the potential to save people's lives.

On April 4, the SIG gathered together with several tech companies in San Francisco's Westin St. Francis to discuss the current and future state of Bluetooth.

It turns out, there's a whole lot in store.

In addition to your usual slew of fitness trackers and heart monitors, health products fitted with Bluetooth make it easier for hearing-impaired people to explore their world, epileptics to notify their families, and diabetics to inject their medicine.

Bluetooth has been around since 1999, and it saw a huge success with audio equipment. The idea to remotely control your speakers, headphones, and headsets without any use of wires became incredibly popular, and it made Bluetooth a necessary feature in future devices.

After the rollout of Bluetooth 4.0 in 2010, or what Jawanda likes to refer to as the "second wave of Bluetooth," the SIG can now boast a newer kind of technology that is securer, faster, and more efficient. And chances are, you'll be seeing it in more things to come.

Whether you're a heart patient, a sports fanatic, or both, said Jawanda, it won't matter.

"You got these diverse set of devices that speak this common language," he said. "As we get into these new areas, the ecosystem just gets richer, and richer, and richer."

About the author

Lynn La is CNET's associate editor for cell phone and smartphone news and reviews. Prior to coming to CNET, she wrote for the Sacramento Bee and was a staff editor at Macworld. In addition to covering technology, she has reported on health, science, and politics.

 

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