What's up next for Bluetooth?

Posted by Trent Nouveau

A purported roadmap has reportedly been leaked from the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), supposedly revealing what features the next three iterations of the wireless protocol will offer both devs and users.

According to the document, future versions of Bluetooth are slated to boast support for biometrics, indoor GPS and IPv6.

According to MYCE, the (once) confidential document predicts that Bluetooth LE, or Bluetooth Low Energy, is likely to be a major focus, with users expecting extended battery life from ever smaller devices.

"Of the major features planned for debut, most interesting is an indoor positioning function that could go well with Apple's recent acquisition of WiFiSLAM, a small firm which created 'indoor GPS' technology based on the Wi-Fi standard," AppleInsider explained.

"The Bluetooth iteration, expected to be ready in a 2014 build, is based on an enhanced packet structure that allows for direction finding, asset tracking and 'public indoor positioning.'"

Meanwhile, engineers are also working to integrate IPv6 into Bluetooth LE, which could go a long way to realizing the buzz around the Internet of Things (IoT) - as it would assign every Bluetooth-enabled device a unique identifier (or IP address), allowing real-world objects to be located and accessed via the Internet.

Unsurprisingly, future Bluetooth versions will also offer faster connections, lower power sipping, extended range and increased privacy.