About two months ago the Bluetooth SIG renamed their latest standard, which was previously known as “Bluetooth v4.0”. When version numbers get higher and higher marketing likes to interfere and try something new. In this case: Bluetooth Smart.
Sounds smart, but is it?
Without getting into too much detail, let me quickly quote Wikipedia to get started:
“Cost-reduced single-mode chips, which enable highly integrated and compact devices, feature a lightweight Link Layer providing ultra-low power idle mode operation, simple device discovery, and reliable point-to-multipoint data transfer with advanced power-save and secure encrypted connections at the lowest possible cost.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bluetooth#Bluetooth_v4.0 (sounds more like a marketing text than a proper technical specification, but gives you a rough idea what you as an end-user can expect ;)).
So we’re talking about the usual stuff: Lower energy consumption combined with more functionality. Great!
Sounds smart, but is it safe?
With “Bluetooth Smart Ready” products just coming in it’s too early to tell. But one thing is for sure: 2012 will be the year where every major consumer product (smartphones, heart-rate straps or even simple clocks) will be equipped with it. Oh, and guess what… a new wireless standard doesn’t just come along with a new shiny gadget. Obviously you need an app for that. How about tracking your heart beat? Personally I’m looking forward for the first Bluetooth Smart Ready cardiac pacemaker…
And back to security: Either you trust the Bluetooth committee which states “Bluetooth technology is an industry leader when it comes to wireless data security.”, OR you ask somebody who would tell you the plain truth (given there is one): Michael Ossmann.
We did the latter and invited Michael to talk at TROOPERS12. He is a wireless security experts who also makes hardware tools to progress with his research. In early 2011 he successfully crowd-funded his latest gadget: Ubertooth One. A very capable Bluetooth monitoring device.
We’re looking forward to mid March where we all meet to discuss things in more depth at TROOPERS12. Until then keep yourself up-to-date and have a look into Michael’s latest blog entry: Bluetooth for Bad Guys
Have a wonderful Christmas time,
PS: Drop us a comment, when you find some “Bluetooth Smart Ready” labels under your Christmas tree 😉