Brush your teeth till they’re blue! Bluetooth 4.0 coming soon to…everything
The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (Bluetooth SIG) announced on the 8th that Windows 8 would natively support Bluetooth 4.0. With Bluetooth 4.0, your PC will be able to connect to a whole new array of low power-consuming devices.
Bluetooth 4.0 first reared its head in the iPhone 4S. Unlike previous editions of the protocol which munched up all the power from your battery (presumably with its blue-teeth), this time around Bluetooth is being heralded as the harbinger of a new era of low energy devices. If it does all that its cracked up to be, Bluetooth 4.0 will be the go-to choice for medical and health devices, sports and fitness equipment, and a host of other crap that you never dreamed would some day connect to your PC.
Bluetooth has forged its way into a variety of devices thus far due to its simple and secure way of connecting wirelessly to devices. According to ABI Research, the amount of Bluetooth capable devices in the world already amounts to 9 billion; shipped units in 2012 alone account for over 2 billion of these, and there are no signs of this trend slowing down.
Over 9 billion blue-teeth reported. Dentists everywhere are outraged.
From its humble beginnings as the wireless communications device of choice for headset-wearing obnoxious businessmen who talk too loud in the line at Starbucks, Bluetooth has evolved into a multi-purpose protocol whose low power requirements will let it bless your household products with its heavenly blue teethed waves. Running on a battery the size of a coin, Bluetooth 4.0 really is a giant leap for the protocol.
There is one tiny itty-bitty problem with putting Bluetooth in everything though. The simple and compact data sent from each Bluetooth compatible device cannot really be used by anything without first being sent to a “hub” device, like a PC, smartphone, or tablet. Only then can the data be viewed, processed, or sent to that all-powerful cloud in the Internet sky.
Doc, I'm having a CAT scan here, can you quit playing Angry Birds for one second?
At the recent Bluetooth 4.0 sleepover (or maybe it was just a conference, who knows), the example given was wait for it… a Bluetooth ready toothbrush. (Get it? Bluetooth.. toothbrush.. ha..ha… oh you crazy engineers!) So anyway the example was of a child using a Bluetoothbrush™ to brush their pearly whites, and all of the data associated with the brushing process such as time spent, pressure of the brush, which teeth were brushed etc. can all be sent to a nearby tablet or phone.
Oh god.. it actually exists… a Bluetooth toothbrush!! Where can I get one???
A possibly less creepier example given was to insert a Bluetooth enabled accelerometer in the tip of a golf club to measure your swing speed and accuracy, allowing the golfer to check his/her stats on their smartphone. More useful applications include checking your blood level on your PC, or connecting your fitness equipment to your TV so that you can synchronize your workout with Jane Fonda (good luck catching up to her though!).
Blue wavy things not included (unless you count Bluetooth’s spread spectrum radio waves, but they’re invisible, silly.)
Bluetooth devices are expected to take the world by storm, reaching an estimated 2.5 billion devices shipped next year, and 27 billion devices shipped by 2017. It’s hard to say what level of success the slimmed down protocol will have, but it sure will be fun to see what crazy devices choose to support it in the coming years.
Source: PC Watch