Bluetooth is the wireless technology that enables one to use headsets and other devices without having run wires between the mobile phone and the device. A number of vendors participate in the Bluetooth Special Interest Group, which defines the specifications for how Bluetooth works. Each of the vendors then use the specification to implement Bluetooth in their products.
Bluetooth 4 is the newest version of the specification and it adds two important new capabilities, low power consumption and higher speeds, to the existing (classic) capability. The vendors are able to either use all of the capabilities together or use individual components. The low power consumption capability will enable vendors to use Bluetooth for small devices that cannot have large batteries, such as watches, remote controls, and medical and in-home sensors. For mobile phone users the low power consumption may contribute to longer battery life.
The specification is expected to be complete by the end of June, 2010, and we should start to see devices using Bluetooth 4 late this year or early next year.