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December 3, 2014

Bluetooth 4.2 to lay the foundation for the Internet of Things

The standard gets a big update.

By Amy-Jo Crowley

Faster connectivity and improved privacy controls will help the latest 4.2 version of the Bluetooth standard open up new opportunities for developers and manufacturers in the Internet of Things (IoT) market.

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) said Bluetooth 4.2 also adds support for the IPv6 protocol, which allows for Bluetooth 4.2 sensors and devices to connect directly to the IoT.

Mark Powell, executive director of the Bluetooth SIG, said: "Bluetooth 4.2 is all about continuing to make Bluetooth Smart the best solution to connect all the technology in your life – from personal sensors to your connected home. In addition to the improvements to the specification itself, a new profile known as IPSP enables IPv6 for Bluetooth, opening entirely new doors for device connectivity.

"Bluetooth Smart is the only technology that can scale with the market, provide developers the flexibility to innovate, and be the foundation for the IoT."

Bluetooth 4.2 is also up to 2.5 times faster, meaning smart devices featuring Bluetooth should be more power-efficient and reliable than before.

The new privacy features also put control back into the hands of the consumers, making it harder for companies to track their device without their permission.

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