The organisation behind the Bluetooth format, known as the Bluetooth SIG, has unveiled the specification of the next version of the universally accepted short distance wireless connectivity technology.
That said, this iteration is expected to reach 200 feet or roughly 66 metres, which would rival some WiFi coverage althogh throughput is likely to be only a fraction.
The fourth version of Bluetooth will focus on slashing the amount of energy consumed by BT equipped devices and the executive director of the Bluetooth SIG has high expectations on the low power credentials of the future version of the platform.
Michael Foley said that products compatible with the technology will be able to run on button cell batteries for years rather than hours, which would possibly mean a thousand-fold improvement on today's performance.
Bluetooth v4.0 is expected to appear in new products towards the end of the year with mass market status reached by next year. The technology is likely to be built in highend smartphones first and portable computers.
There are also talks that we could see it in watches, remote controls and other ubiquitous very low powered devices that populate households and businesses.
BT 4.0 is likely to face heavy competition from the proponents of NFC (near field connectivity), Zigbee, Nokia-backed WiBree and Z-Wave.
Bluetooth v4.0 seems very promising indeed and the energy savings are indeed significant. Expect Bluetooth to finally become widely available even on laptops from now on. Now, let's hope that others also adopt Bluetooth's Frugality.