Sunday, October 9, 2011

iPhone 4s picks Bluetooth 4.0 over NFC for geo-location inside buildings

iPhone 4S comes with the new and improved Bluetooth 4.0 standard, making it the first smartphone to come with the new enhanced standard. The new iPhone feature which has similarities to NFC technology, was first sported in the MacBook Air and allows for much lower-energy communication between devices than previous versions.

This enables device makers to use the widely used standard in place of proprietary sensor technology.What Bluetooth 4.0 allows for is very close to NFC, and might actually be used by developers to do payments and much more. Unlike regular Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, the low-energy part of the 4.0 specification allows devices to communicate using almost no power. This is crucial to a whole array of new developments; It lets you cheaply add devices with geo-location capabilities and integrate it in the buildings to guide visitors.

Casio already uses the technology to allow watches to communicate with smartphones over a range of five meters (16 feet); making payments with your mobile is another possibility (overlapping on the territory of NFC).

While Bluetooth 4.0 is backward-compatible with previous versions, there are not many Bluetooth 4.0 devices out there to make use of the new technology yet. More BT 4.0 compatible products should be introduced towards the end of the year, with Apple's inclusion of the standard in its latest smartphone likely to encourage a much quicker uptake.