Next generation aims to reduce power consumption and help make way for tiny wireless sensors.

The new spec for Bluetooth 4.0 has just been approved by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group, the organization that sets the standards for this technology.  The newly approved speculation adds a low-power specification for transmitting small data bursts over short ranges.

According to a press release posted by the SIG on, Bluetooth 4.0 promises to dramatically reduce power consumption and some of the new low energy devices will be able to operate for years on standard coin-cell batteries.  

"Some of these new low-energy devices will be able to operate for years on just a tiny, button-sized battery," said Mike Foley, executive director of the SIG.

Foley said the Bluetooth 4.0 technology is being certified and licensed for use in chips and devices and that companies can begin designing and manufacturing devices using the standard.

"The ability to run on such a minuscule amount of power - as little as 10% of the energy used by classic Bluetooth devices - will enable a host of new uses for wireless products in everything from sports and fitness to and home entertainment," he said.

Devices equipped with the Bluetooth 4.0 will be able to run on as little as 10 percent of the power of previous Bluetooth devices.  The group also plans to develop a watch equipped with an alarm that would sound if users leave a device like their cell phone behind.

The Bluetooth SIG has more than 13,000 member companies worldwide, including  Ericsson, Intel, Lenovo, Microsoft, Motorola and Nokia. 

Products equipped with Bluetooth 4.0 are expected to be out on the market by Fall of 2011.

In the meantime companies like MicrosoftNokiaApple and Samsung are utilizing the latest Bluetooth 3.0 technology to help stay current and up-to-date.

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