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Bluetooth Gets Upgrade

3/27/2007 12:36:00 PM Eastern

Orlando, Fla. — Bluetooth is getting a technology boost to make it easier for devices to “recognize” one another and to conserve battery energy.

At the CTIA show, The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) announced a new specification that requires fewer steps to pair two Bluetooth devices. It also increases the battery life of devices such as keyboards and mice by up to five times.

With the new standard, users do not need to enter a personal identification number but receive secure encryption automatically. “For example, pairing a Bluetooth headset and mobile phone is as easy as turning on the headset, selecting ‘Add Headset’ from the phone menu, and then watching the phone confirm it has found, connected with an encrypted link and paired the headset,” said the group.

Users can also now hold two devices together within close range to start the pairing process.

The new standard is called Version 2.1 + EDR (Enhanced Data Rate).

The Bluetooth SIG also continues to work with the WiMedia Alliance to incorporate ultrawideband technology into the next version of the specification to create a high speed Bluetooth channel, said the group.

The group also announced that Bluetooth technology has 81 percent consumer awareness in several countries across the globe.

Bluetooth also has an installed based of one billion devices and Bluetooth technology is shipping at a rate of more than 13 million devices per week, said the Bluetooth SIG.