Bluetooth 4.2: What Can We Expect?

Bluetooth 4.2: What Can We Expect?

Bluetooth is everywhere. And, honestly, stating this is completely unneeded and redundant. We know it’s there because we use it for just about everything. Once this short-band radio was pretty much the purview of somewhat pretentious looking earpieces that only the business-minded person too busy to use their hands used with their flip phones. Now? It’s pretty everything.

Portable speakers, media transfer, device connectivity; many claim we’ve really only just begun to touch on what the fair simple little bit of technology allows us to do.

That seems to be true. Today, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), announced the new Bluetooth 4.2. What can we expect from the specifications from Bluetooth 4.2? Let’s take a look.

First and foremost, we’re looking at an overall increase of data transfer. According to SIG, we’re looking at upwards of 2.5 times what we see now out of current data transfer speeds. That doesn’t sound like a huge jump, but for a technology that has begun to show its age despite the versatility it offers, that’s a huge jump. Data packet capacity between sending and receiving devices contain nearly 10 times the amount of information as previous versions, allowing for the transfer of that data at a much higher and efficient rate.

Loving the NASA look of the logo!

Loving the NASA look of the logo!

Secondly, Bluetooth 4.2 is going to offer privacy security in a manner that we’ve not had available before with Bluetooth. Before, it wasn’t hard to actually track the location of your Bluetooth device with the proper programs. It wasn’t common, but it was a concern in certain government offices and areas where location information needs to be guarded. Even some retail stores would track the location of each of its customers based on an internal series of beacons that listen for Bluetooth devices. Bluetooth 4.2 added a wonderfully simplistic step in the tracking process. By forcing any tracking software or device to ask you for permission to do so, it eliminates unwanted attention, essentially allowing you to stay anonymous in those situations.

Arguably, the biggest advantage Bluetooth 4.2 has over current versions of the software is the implementation of what is called IPSP that enables IPv6 for your Bluetooth connected devices. What does this do? By using IPv6 or 6LoWPAN your Bluetooth device can connect directly to the internet without a go-between to act as an intermediary. Essentially, this eliminates a need to have certain points or hubs to act as places of access that would allow you get control or access a more than one device. Now, in plain English? This allows your device to have a direct connection to the internet. How they plan on implementing this, or just what it is going to allow you to do beyond the obvious, isn’t seen just yet. But with Bluetooth sensors showing up in nearly everything, there are a myriad of possibilities.

Bluetooth 4.2 will have, up to a point, backwards compatibility for older adapters, though the older you get the more limited to the newer features you may become. Your best bet is to simply do your homework before investing to see if the new version is going to work with your favorite device.

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