Bluetooth is one of the most popular and enduring wireless connection protocols currently available and with good reason. Aside from the speed and convenience this technology offers, gradual improvements on the protocol have brought about advances in power management, data transfer speeds as well as connection stability.

The Bluetooth technology has now reached another milestone. The Bluetooth Special Interest Group, or SIG, has just announced the latest iteration of this technology, Version 4.1. This new development comes at a very important time when wearable tech peripherals such as Google Glass and Samsung's Galaxy Gear have been popping out of the woodwork.

Some of the problems with many current generation Bluetooth devices include frequent dropouts, connection interruptions and bad power management. Bluetooth 4.1 is promising to solve all of these problems in one stroke. These next generation chips have the ability to re-establish broken connections faster compared to their predecessors.

Version 4.1 opens up new possibilities for smartphones and peripherals. These devices can now function as both hubs and peripherals at the same time. New improvements have also been made to make things easier for developers and manufacturers. This means that making Bluetooth enabled products and software is now easier and less time consuming. These improvements will invariably lead to shorter R&D times for companies and hopefully, result in lower costs for consumers as well.

In a related development, Bluetooth specialist Broadcom has announced their new chip, the BCM20736. These new chips are actually full-fledged SOCs (System on a Chip). The new BCM20736 can herald the coming of an entirely new generation of fast and powerful wireless peripherals that consumers can use with their smart phones, portable computers and tablets. The chip measures a mere 6.5 x 6.5 millimeters, which makes it small enough and powerful enough to power a smartwatch and similar devices. It also contains a an ARM Cortex M3 processer with a Bluetooth transceiver and a wireless charging system that can handle the A4WP wireless charging standard. Aside from smartwatches, expect to see this new chip in other wearable peripherals in the near future.

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