The Bluetooth API Simplifies Development
Rapidly growing technology necessitates the further improvement and upgrades for “old” reliable gadgets. In response, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group recently released its new Application Accelerator. Through this, developers who are attempting to create Bluetooth-enabled applications for various platforms like Apple, Android, Samsung, Blackberry and Windows 8 can easily do so through the Bluetooth Smart support. Apps can now be written to a single Bluetooth API thus bridging the gap between two dissimilar forms of technology.
The history of Bluetooth technology
Bluetooth, a wireless technology created in 1994 as an alternative to RS-232 data cables, has the ability to exchange data, provided that it is within the perimeter of the transmission band. Since its development more than a decade ago, it has helped make almost every acceptable data connection from one device to another. At present, there are about billions of devices worldwide that use Bluetooth.
What's new with Bluetooth technology
The new innovation on this technology allows apps to have wireless connectivity as well. The release of source code is prompted by the desire of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group to continuously have products that can utilize the wide possibility of wireless connectivity. It is now equipped with a signature low-energy feature that can be built into any kind of mobile device. The utilization of Bluetooth Smart is expected to make the app development process easier. Its kit is loaded with source codes that can facilitate the manipulation of Bluetooth Smart devices for whatever characteristic, attribute or service the developers’ desire. Through the release of its source code, it is expected that the number of Bluetooth-enabled app accessories produced in this year alone will total to 220 million or even one billion. Needless to say, it is expected that the Bluetooth technology will continue to have a promising trend in the coming years.
The introduction of Bluetooth Smart
Apple was the first platform to include Bluetooth Smart Ready in their operating system back in 2012. Making this move gave its developers varied options in making new “appcessories” (accessories + companion apps) without giving them too much worries on connectivity. Newly released models of Macbook Pro laptops, MacBook Air, Mac Mini, iPhone 4s and iPad are fully integrated with low energy Bluetooth Smart Ready, enabling them to interact with devices that can run on one small battery for a year.
Android tablets and smartphones that are being released in the market nowadays are equipped with the latest dual-mode Bluetooth v4.0 chip to make sure that connectivity is always available to anyone and anything. This makes every Android-powered device compatible to everything that is Bluetooth-enabled such as keyboards, mice, speakers and headphones.
Microsoft soon jumped on the bandwagon of making its operating system Bluetooth ready. The integration of the same Bluetooth 4.0 in Windows 8 products is also one of the key features of its new operating system. Just like the new versions of android tablets and smartphones, Windows 8 now allows the connection of their Bluetooth Smart Ready device to almost everything. It seemed that everything is limitless in terms of connectivity. Through this technology, everything became possible, even the accurate transfer of data from a heart rate monitor to an application that measures fitness.
As for Samsung, the world’s leading brand in smartphone production, all their high-end products starting from Galaxy S III are now supported with Bluetooth technology; thus, Samsung products able to connect, distribute and share information to practically anything that is empowered with Bluetooth also. Such advancement is definitely a big leap for Bluetooth usage considering that their sales are way higher than Nokia and Apple in the smartphone and tablet market.
Of course, Motorola is not to be left behind as it equips its 4.3-inch qHD Super AMOLED display RAZR with Bluetooth capabilities. The addition of this feature made this very slim phone not just aesthetically appealing but fully functional and competitive as well.
Linking smartphones with Bluetooth Smart Ready devices
But of course, smartphones and tablets are not the only ones on the rise. The addition of Bluetooth 4.0 in many operating systems paved the way for the development of various Bluetooth Smart ready products that can be connected to smartphones such as Nike+ Training Shoes, Garmin Fenix, and Motoactv.
The release of Nike+ Training Shoes sparked the interest of the market to Bluetooth Ready Nike+ training and basketball shoes. These special shoes are featured with Bluetooth Smart four pressure sensors on its soles. The data acquired from these pressure sensors measures the amount of calories burned as well as the speed of running.
Aside from basketball and running enthusiasts, hikers are also acquiring the benefits of Bluetooth Smart devices through the release of Garmin Fenix. This device enables hikers to climb wirelessly and navigate through geocaches, routes, maps, waypoints and tracks through their smartphones. It also helps the users be aware of elevation, temperature, barometric pressure, distances, and their current pacing.
Another super fitness gadget that made itself available in the market due to the increasing popularity of connecting Bluetooth with phone is the Motoactv. As a fitness tracker, it is enables users to track their running speed and distance covered through GPS. In addition, it allows anyone to listen to music through the optional Motorola Bluetooth wireless headphones; thereby making users motivated as they do their fitness activity, whether it's indoors or outdoors. Other notable fitness gadgets that transfer data through Bluetooth are Dayton Heart Rate Strap, Motorola, Polar H7 Heart Strap, and Wahoo Fitness Heart Monitor.
The Bluetooth Special Interest Group extends a helping hand
In order to familiarize developers with the usage of the source code, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group is offering trainings for all phases of app creation that will utilize the Bluetooth technology. These trainings are available online at the Bluetooth Developer Portal. Developers can also find profile overviews, specifications, and updates through this page.