On Tuesday the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) unveiled Bluetooth core Specification version 2.1 + Enhanced Data Rate (EDR), a new version of the Bluetooth spec that it says improves the Bluetooth connection experience.
Bluetooth is a Personal Area Networking (PAN) wireless technology that enables electronic devices to communicate with each other. The technology has been included (or available as an option) on Macs for quite some time, and has seen extensive adoption by cell phone makers, where it's used to bridge a connection between wireless headsets and phones. It's also used by some mice, keyboards, printers and other peripherals.
The new 2.1 specification improves the pairing process, according to the Bluetooth SIG, by reducing the number of steps involved. Users pairing Bluetooth 2.1 devices together don't have to generate their own PIN, for example. The process can also improve security to reduce the likelihood of a "man in the middle" scenario, where an unwelcome visitor intercepts communication between two paired Bluetooth devices.
What's more, the 2.1 spec also allows for lower power consumption -- by up to five times. Sniff Subrating increases battery life in devices like mice, keyboards, watches, home sensor networks and medical devices, according to the Bluetooth SIG.
Devices that employ the new spec will be backwards-compatible with older versions of the Bluetooth specification, said the SIG. The group added that they're continuing to work with the WiMedia Alliance to develop ultrawideband technology into the next major version of the Bluetooth spec, to create a high-speed Bluetooth channel.