iPhone 4S Supports Bluetooth 4.0, Now known as Bluetooth Smart

Screen Shot 2011-10-04 at 6.16.11 PM.pngHere’s a fact that I didn’t know, and you may not either- The iPhone 4S is the world’s first phone to ship with Bluetooth 4.0 support, which is now being promoted as “Bluetooth Smart” by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group. Here is how the group describes a Bluetooth Smart device in their press release:

“… Bluetooth Smart devices are sensor-type devices like heart-rate monitors or pedometers that run on button-cell batteries and were built to collect a specific piece of information. Bluetooth Smart devices include only a single-mode low energy Bluetooth v4.0 radio.”

They also note the kind of uses this new standard offers:

“Bluetooth Smart devices are designed to gather a specific type of information—are all the windows on my house locked, what is my insulin level, how much do I weigh today?—and send it to a Bluetooth Smart Ready device. “

In short, the iPhone 4S can’t make use of this new technology yet, simply due to the lack of existing, third-party, peripherals. Also worth noting, is the fact that Apple has been building Bluetooth into the Mac Mini and MacBook Air since they were refreshed back in July. Oddly however, the MacBook Pros, which saw a minor update yesterday, did not receive Bluetooth 4.0.

It appears Apple is banking on this new standard, and even if it doesn’t take off, Bluetooth will still be useful for the things we use it for right this moment. It’s just the fact that the creators are trying to broaden the scope of the technology and give it more value for manufacturers. That is, so they can continue to charge their same licensing fees to OEMS.

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