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Cloud-Savvy Bluetooth 4.1 to Reach Devices By Year End

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The Bluetooth logo.

Bluetooth version 4.1, due out later this year, will allow home users to expand their networks of connected devices into the cloud.

Credit: Bluetooth SIG, Inc.

The Bluetooth 4.1 protocol, which is due out by the end of 2014, will directly connect wearable devices to the cloud, enabling home users to expand their networks of connected devices. The current 4.0 protocol has a range of about 30 meters, but the new protocol makes it possible to connect devices located anywhere using cloud technology.

Bluetooth 4.1 will involve "dumb" equipment such as routers and set-top boxes, which can receive Bluetooth data and redirect it to cloud services via a basic software layer in the gateway equipment. "It's not only connecting sensors to phones, tablets, or hubs, but in essence talking to infrastructure in bigger ways," says the Bluetooth Special Interest Group's Suke Jawanda. "The scenarios become interesting for remote monitoring and management." For example, Jawanda notes devices located outside Bluetooth's wireless range could use the cloud to send data captured from health monitors directly to a cloud service, which could automatically send alerts to doctors or relatives. T

he technology also could enable users to remotely turn on lights or unlock doors. Most of the changes in the Bluetooth 4.1 specification are in the software, with only a few hardware changes.

From IDG News Service
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