Bluetooth 4.0 Compatibility MapSomething that largely flew under the radar amid the iPhone 4S media frenzy was the fact that the device’s Bluetooth capabilities took a huge leap forward, moving from Bluetooth 2.1 to Bluetooth 4.0. The new Bluetooth protocols – high-speed, low-energy and classic – enables an all new class of device pairing to exchange specific information between two devices. Dont we already have that? Yes, to an extent.

Announced today, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) will extend the Bluetooth trademark in an effort to, “create consumer awareness around compatibility for new devices implementing Bluetooth 4.0.” Aptly named Bluetooth Smart Ready and Bluetooth Smart, the new extensions will allow Bluetooth Smart Ready devices – phones, tablets, PCs and TVs – to pair with Bluetooth Smart sensor-type devices – heart-rate monitors or pedometers – and interact.

Here’s the truth of the matter: Bluetooth Smart and Bluetooth Smart Ready devices will revolutionize the way we collect, share and use information, said Michael Foley, Ph.D., executive director of the Bluetooth SIG. In order to ensure consumers know what these extraordinary devices have to offer, we created the Bluetooth Smart and Bluetooth Smart Ready marks. These new logos will help consumers manage compatibility, and encourage manufacturers to build their best Bluetooth devices yet.

The iPhone 4S is, at least until the Droid RAZR is released, the only device to include Bluetooth’s new standard, allowing the chip to connect using very little power. In fact, the new Bluetooth standard uses so little power that it can be powered by the same “button cell” batteries commonly found in watches.

It’s exciting to hear such an effort is being undertaken to alert consumers to this new technology, particularly if it can be implemented correctly in certain fields – for example, medicine. If peripherals get the Bluetooth Smart seal of approval, the iPhone 4S would be the perfect device – simple, intuitive, user friendly – to aid doctors and, most importantly, consumers to help better manage whatever illness the patient is suffering.

As it stands, the iPhone 4S is not yet able to take full advantage of the new technology due to the lack of Bluetooth Smart-ready devices, but once it becomes more widely recognized, hopefully we’ll start seeing some innovative products in the future.

[via MacRumors, Bluetooth]