Bluetooth 4.2 Is Faster, More Secure And IPv6 Compatible

The latest version of Bluetooth will allow for faster and more secure data transfers along with improved Internet connectivity in a bid to establish the technology as an “essential” wireless standard for the Internet of Things (IoT).

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (Bluetooth SIG) has finalised the specifications for Bluetooth 4.2, which will be able to connect to the Internet directly using the IPv6 and 6LoWPAN protocols, support all manner of smart sensors and devices that will comprise the IoT.

Data transfer speeds have been boosted by two and a half times thanks to higher capacity smart packets, which should also ensure a more reliable connection that uses less energy.

Bluetooth 4.2 standard

Bluetooth 4.2 also promises to protect connected devices by making eavesdropping more difficult. For example, if a store has beacons enabled, a Bluetooth-enabled device won’t be tracked unless a user has given their permission.

Recent versions of the technology, which is the global short-range wireless standard for personal connectivity, have worked to reduce its power consumption as the IoT continues to gather pace. This was particularly evident with Bluetooth 4.0 which merged the ‘classic’ version of Bluetooth with Bluetooth Smart, or Bluetooth Low Energy, which uses considerably less power but is not compatible with previous versions.

Most modern operating systems support Bluetooth Smart natively and The Bluetooth SIG claims that 90 percent of all Bluetooth-enabled devices will be compatible with Bluetooth Smart by 2018.

“Bluetooth 4.2 is all about continuing to make Bluetooth Smart the best solution to connect all the technology in your life – from personal sensors to your connected home,” says Mark Powell, executive director of the Bluetooth SIG. “In addition to the improvements to the specification itself, a new profile known as IPSP enables IPv6 for Bluetooth, opening entirely new doors for device connectivity.

“Bluetooth Smart is the only technology that can scale with the market, provide developers the flexibility to innovate, and be the foundation for the IoT.”

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Steve McCaskill

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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