Bluetooth is getting a significant update. The Bluetooth Special Interest Group has just officially announced version 4.2 of the Bluetooth core specification. The new Bluetooth will have improved features sure to please mobile users: better Internet connectivity, increased privacy and speed, and an update that allow Bluetooth Smart sensors to connect straight to the internet.
In addition to these improvements, the new spec adds support for the newer IPV6 protocol meaning Bluetooth 4.2 devices will connect to the internet through newer home routers supporting IPV6. Thus home automation becomes easy as it would eliminate the need for dedicated Bluetooth hubs or devices with built-in Wi-Fi.
One of the major issues with home automation today is that each service sells its own proprietary hub for connecting smart products such as light bulbs, thermostats, and door sensors. This is very expensive and a complex process because users may need multiple hubs to connect all their devices they want. The BSIG says the new standard should cut down the expenses, so that even it two groups of products don’t communicate with each other, you won’t need separate hardware to manage them.
As for privacy, Bluetooth 4.2 includes new protections against Beacons. Some retailers use Beacons to track and push notifications to their shoppers’ phones. How can a user ensure they receive only the notifications they want to see? Bluetooth 4.2 promises to deal with this exact issue. With Buetooth 4.2 version, users will have to specifically give permission for the beacons to interact with their device thus making it much more difficult for eavesdroppers to track them.
The new version will be opening doors to data transfer rates that will be up to 2.5 times faster with packet capacity increasing by 10 times over previous implementations. Some features of Bluetooth 4.2 such as privacy will be available to older devices via firmware updates whereas higher data transfer and increased packet size will require new hardware.