At the CTIA, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group announced a new version of its wireless specification, Version 2.1 + Enhanced Data Rate. The new Bluetooth Core specification will make the initial connection of Bluetooth devices easier by reducing the number of steps it take to pair one device to another, all with lower overall power consumption. The improved pairing will feature a consistent and supposedly intuitive pairing process that includes finding, securing, and authenticating the devices, all in a matter of seconds. According to Michael Foley, executive director of the Bluetooth SIG, version 2.1 + EDR also increases security levels during the pairing process while also automating the process of a user having to come up with a long, personal identification number to establish a secure connection.
The SIG also noted that Near Field Communication (NFC) will also be possible in the new updated spec and users will subsequently be able to hold two devices together at a short range to start the quick pairing process. Bluetooth power consumption will be reduced by as much as five times in devices such as wireless mice, keyboards, watches, and some medical equipment using a new feature called Sniff Subrating. According to the Bluetooth SIG Working Group, all devices with Bluetooth version 2.1 + EDR will be backwards compatible with earlier Bluetooth specifications and will support pairing techniques employed by those devices. Version 2.1 + EDR will be ready for members to develop products around in the second half of 2007.
News source: ExtremeTech