Bluetooth gets extra bite

30 Mar 2007

Bluetooth devices will soon pair easily, last longer and enjoy better security as the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) announced details of its new spec earlier this week.

The two core specifications for Bluetooth 2.1 and Enhanced Data Rate (EDR) are improved pairing of devices and lower power consumption.

“For certain scenarios there is a feature called Sniff Subrating,” said Anders Edlund, marketing director of the Bluetooth SIG, when speaking to about Bluetooth 2.1.

“It will improve the battery lifetime for up to five times and that is typically for mice, keyboards and other devices that stay on for a long time,” he said.

Usability is also a core issue with the improved pairing making it easier to set up and connect their Bluetooth devices. “The thing you need to do with most computer devices when you use them for the first time is a first pairing – you need to associate them so they know what device to talk to; that’s not really intuitive,” said Edlund.

When setting up a mobile headset with Bluetooth 2.1, Edlund claimed: “The pairing would take place totally automatically without anything except acknowledging the prompt from the mobile phone, ‘do you want to pair with this headset’.”

The Bluetooth SIG is the not-for-profit licensing body for Bluetooth that was founded in 1998 with initially five companies, including Ericsson who invented the technology. It now has over 7,000 member companies.

Earlier this week the SIG released a brand awareness study which revealed that 81pc of consumers were aware of the Bluetooth brand in 2006, a significant increase from 73pc in 2005.

By Marie Boran