The Bluetooth Special Interest Group has released specifications for the next generation of the low-power, short-range wireless communication protocol.

Bluetooth 4.2 will support faster data speeds, offer improved power efficiency, and enhanced security. It will also allow Bluetooth-capable devices to connect to the internet through a router or other access point — no WiFi required.

bluetooth

The Bluetooth SIG says the new Bluetooth protocol has a packet capacity that’s up to 10 times greater than earlier versions and supports data transfer speeds that are up to 2.5 times faster.

The new support for internet connectivity will also come in handy with the growing number of Internet-of-Things devices such as smart light bulbs, thermostats, and other home and/or wearable devices since it’ll allow them to communicate with online apps without requiring a WiFi connection.

We should start to see Bluetooth 4.2 enabled devices in 2015.

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6 replies on “Bluetooth 4.2 offers faster, more efficient wireless communication”

  1. “It will also allow Bluetooth-capable devices to connect to the internet through a router or other access point — no WiFi required.”

    “…it’ll allow them to communicate with online apps without requiring a WiFi connection.”

    I don’t understand this. What does this mean?

    1. It means that if you have a Bluetooth capable router hooked up to the internet, your bluetooth devices will be able to connect yo the internet through it much the way wifi-capable devices currently do. You won’t need a separate WiFi chip in your speaker, thermostat, or whatever.

      1. Will the new version of bluetooth have a larger range? Current bluetooth devices only operate in about 30′ – 50′ range. Without a range extension in the new spec you might need several bluetooth enabled routers. Not ideal.

        1. Existing Class 1 devices have much better range. Bluegiga make the WT41 module which we use for 500m links (free space).

          I suspect for I-O-T they will use some ‘store and forward’ approach to pass data through a chain of devices until it hits an exit point.

  2. FWIW, another article claimed that many 4.1 devices can be upgraded through firmware.

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