It’s been a couple of years since I first heard online professionals ask, “What is the next big thing after the Internet?” I am still not sure that the next big thing is around the corner, but the “Internet of Things” is certainly making waves. Already acronymized as IoT, this refers to “refers to uniquely identifiable objects and their virtual representations in an Internet-like structure.” (Source)  In line with this, we are seeing numerous developments, including the newest version of Bluetooth technology: Bluetooth 4.1.

Last week, the  Bluetooth Special Interest Group announced that Bluetooth 4.1 is going to ultimately allow Bluetooth-compatible devices such as headsets to connect to the Internet. While this may not be the immediate result of the update, there are new features that will make the use of Bluetooth devices easier and more convenient. These include:

  • better interaction between LTE radios and Bluetooth devices; that is, there will be less interference;
  • longer “timeout” period between devices; that is, you do not always have to reconnect;
  • support for bulk data transfers, which means information can be retrieved from multiple sensors.

While the idea of headsets and other similar Bluetooth-enabled peripherals connecting to the Internet on their own is the ultimate goal, we do have to face reality that it is not possible as of yet. Instead, Bluetooth 4.1 does provide the springboard from which this futuristic scenario can emerge from.

A spokeswoman from the Bluetooth Special Interest Group says, “It’s not a mesh network scenario, but rather the beginning groundwork to make it possible for Bluetooth enabled devices to speak directly to the Internet.”

So yeah, it is an exciting proposition, although privacy and data security issues will probably crop up when this possibility nears reality, but for now, I think that the update has just enough positives to boost the use of Bluetooth devices.

Would you be interested in having your headset or fitness tracker communicate directly on the Internet?

[Image via droid-life]