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Bluetooth 4.0 features and development history

- Apr 23, 2018 -

The popularity of Bluetooth 4.0 has taken a step forward in the long-awaited IoT world. For the Bluetooth technology that has been decryed several times in the past 10 years, version 4.0 is helping it to prove itself, and it also gives us all Come to more expectations.

In most common consumer impressions, "Bluetooth" is a familiar and unfamiliar term. It is familiar because it is always visible in mobile phones and laptops. Unfamiliar to most users, It is almost never used, which makes Bluetooth a very tasteless feature for a long time in the past, but after the emergence of Bluetooth 4.0, consumers should start to carefully understand this data transmission technology, because It is changing our lives little by little. In 2013, many attentive consumers should find such a phenomenon, more and more digital products began to support Bluetooth 4.0 as the main selling point in the promotion. The "Bluetooth" technology, which has long been out of sight, has suddenly been pushed to the center of the stage by large and small hardware manufacturers.


At the Bluetooth World Congress held in Shanghai in April last year, Zhuo Wentai, chief marketing officer of the Bluetooth Technology Alliance, revealed that since the launch of Bluetooth 4.0, the number of Bluetooth products has increased by nearly 80% in the past three years. In 2012, the global Bluetooth products were released. The volume exceeds 3 billion and is expected to exceed 4 billion this year. "Bluetooth technology has two revolutions, the first is the 1.0 version, the second is the 4.0 version." Zhuo Wentai evaluation. The Bluetooth 4.0 version shows the significance of Bluetooth technology.

What has changed in 4.0?

The Bluetooth 4.0 version is actually a trinity technology that combines three flavors of traditional Bluetooth, high-speed Bluetooth, and low-power Bluetooth. The three specifications can be combined with each other or used individually.

For a long time, the "culprit" of the widespread use of Bluetooth technology is the power consumption problem. Although mobile phones and PC makers are pushing it, almost all mobile devices and notebook computers have Bluetooth modules installed, but they are really used. Its people are not many. Because of the power consumption, consumers tend to stay away from Bluetooth. In addition to the few application scenarios such as Bluetooth headsets and mice, for most ordinary consumers, the Bluetooth function on the device is just a decoration.

The Bluetooth 4.0 version focuses on power consumption. According to official data, the peak energy consumption of Bluetooth 4.0 is only half that of the previous generation. In addition, it only starts when data needs to be transmitted, and it is in a rest state at other times, thereby greatly reducing energy loss. According to the Bluetooth technology alliance, a coin cell battery can support peripherals equipped with Bluetooth 4.0 modules for more than one year. In addition to solving the problem of power consumption, Bluetooth 4.0 has also been adjusted to the problem of the user's widely criticized startup speed. The Bluetooth 2.1 version takes 6 seconds to complete the boot, and the 4.0 version only takes 3 milliseconds and is almost negligible. The technological leap has laid the foundation for the success of Bluetooth 4.0, but relying on this alone is not enough. In order to mobilize the enthusiasm of the terminal manufacturers, the Bluetooth SIG has also developed a smart marketing strategy for Bluetooth 4.0, which is to promise that manufacturers can only complete the transition to Bluetooth 4.0 by adding very few transformation costs.

Commercial tipping point

Although the Bluetooth 4.0 standard was released in July 2010, its real detonation was after Apple released the iPhone 4S in 2011.

The rise of mobile internet has fostered a whole new ecosystem. The popularity of application stores has enabled mobile phones to carry more and more features. By the time the iPhone 4S was released, the entire ecosystem of mobile applications had matured, but at the same time, some problems were gradually exposed. One of the most representative problems is that for many applications based on mobile platforms, smart phones have been unable to carry their ambitions, but they have become the “chain” that hampers their development. Such as those sports health applications. With the ever-increasing size of mobile phones, the portability of mobile phones is also declining. This is a nightmare for applications such as Runkeeper and Endomondo that record user motion trajectories. Because of the inconvenience of carrying, many users begin to abandon using them. Because of this, there is an urgent need for more portable peripherals to make up for this deficiency. As a result, a number of sports wristband products such as Fitbit Flex and Nike Fuelband emerged rapidly. On the other hand, the increase in the computing power of mobile phones has also made it possible to create a whole new hardware ecosystem around it. The Bluetooth 4.0 star network structure can exactly meet this requirement. "The original prerequisite for the development of a peripheral was to have a box or gateway. There was a lot of cost to develop this box. Now it is not necessary. The programming capabilities of the mobile phone give these peripherals intelligence, so the developer's inspiration The child was inspired."

Bluetooth 4.0 was detonated because of Apple, but the support of the Android platform has not been good, but the latest version of Android 4.3 has solved this problem. All support for Bluetooth 4.0 has been achieved. With further penetration of the Android platform, it can be foreseen that peripherals based on Bluetooth 4.0 will usher in a climax.

Next opportunity

In addition to the numerous novel peripherals extended based on smart terminals, where is the next opportunity for Bluetooth 4.0?

"Location" will become the next tipping point for Bluetooth technology. This demand can be roughly divided into two categories.

One is the positioning of objects. In March last year, crowdfunding platform kickstarter released a Bluetooth 4.0-based peripheral SmartWallit, and successfully raised nearly 80,000 US dollars. It is a card-shaped accessory that is placed in a purse and can be alerted by a mobile phone when it is over a certain distance from the owner. For those who often cannot find something, such a product is undoubtedly very intimate. Of course, in addition to positioning objects, for those who have babies or pets at home, these products can also meet their needs.

Another major category of demand is indoor navigation. In August last year, 22 companies including Samsung, Qualcomm, Nokia, Sony, and MTK established the In-Location Alliance to provide users with indoor positioning services based on Bluetooth 4.0 technology. I believe that many people have the experience of getting lost in shopping malls, wanting to go to a favorite brand's stall, or wanting to find a toilet in a hurry, and the result can't be found anywhere. In the future, Bluetooth 4.0 will help. Users solve this problem, similar to GPS rely on satellites to achieve navigation, just in advance in the building to install some "Bluetooth satellite", then the phone with a Bluetooth 4.0 module can receive the signals of these satellites to determine your location . At present, this kind of indoor navigation can already achieve one meter accuracy. In the future, indoor navigation can be fully connected with the merchant's promotional information, resulting in a set of business models.

The concept of the Internet of Things has been raging for many years. The popularity of Bluetooth 4.0 will undoubtedly move the industry’s long-thought-out IoT one step further. For Bluetooth technology that has been decryed several times in the past decade, Bluetooth 4.0 is working on it. Become the best opportunity for your own name.

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