Bluetooth 4 spec reduces energy consumption by 90%

Bluetooth has approved a next-gen spec that will allow future wireless devices to operate for years on just a tiny, button-sized battery.

According to Bluetooth SIG director Michael Foley, devices based on the new 4 spec are likely to consume nearly 90 percent less energy than current electronic items.

“[This] will enable a host of new uses for wireless products in everything from sports and fitness to healthcare and home entertainment,” Foley explained in a blog post.

Some of the new devices envisioned by Foley include:

  • Advanced fitness monitors – Capable of recording activity levels, heart rate, weight.

  • Health sensors – Collect vital information such as pulse, temperature and blood glucose levels. Automatically sends the information to a mobile phone or PC, allowing doctors and other healthcare providers to monitor patients remotely.
Watches – Designed to control wireless headsets, mobile phones and other portable devices.

The first Bluetooth low energy devices are slated to be released this Fall, with a virtual “flood” expected in 2011.