updated 04:00 pm EDT, Wed August 1, 2007
Bluetooth 2.1 Official
The official Bluetooth Special Interest Group today announced that it had embraced the Bluetooth 2.1 standard, greenlighting its use for future devices. The update to the 2.0 spec promises to implement a technique known as Sniff Subrating to improve battery life by as much as five times in hardware that needs a steady stream of data; keyboards, mice, and watches are just a few of the examples, the SIG says. Updating to 2.1 should also greatly simplify the pairing process by having a host device automatically pair with devices by looking for certain device classes (such as headsets) rather than requiring special actions on both ends.
Some pairing methods could use an extra-strong, six digit password to guard the process against hijacking or rely on near-field communication to pair devices just by bringing them close to each other, the group adds.
Expectations were not set for when devices with Bluetooth 2.1 support could reach the market, but the minor update will be relatively simple to implement and may not require significantly enhanced chipsets, giving cellphones and notebooks a quick upgrade path to the new technology.