By Hirshy Raskin
The most recent version of Bluetooth is version 4.0. Products featuring version 4.0 capabilities began hitting the market in 2010.
Version 4.0 contains three separate modes, two of which are familiar to users of previous Bluetooth releases.
“Bluetooth Classic” contains protocols nearly identical to much earlier versions of Bluetooth (pre-version 3.0 + HS).
The final protocol contained in version 4.0 is the new “Bluetooth Low Energy,” which is often referred to colloquially as “Bluetooth Smart.” Bluetooth Smart drastically reduces the power consumed by Bluetooth-enabled devices (battery life for the small button cell batteries Bluetooth version 4.0 headsets run on is estimated at around a year without charging) and primarily serves to make smaller-size transfers faster and more efficient. The benefits of this improvement have already been far-reaching, extending past the everyday consumer to uses like running vital monitoring devices for health care use.
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