Key updates in the new 4.2 Bluetooth core specification improve privacy and increase speed, and a soon-to-be ratified profile will enable IP connectivity.
Adopted by the Bluetooth 4.2 Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) earlier this week, Bluetooth 4.2 introduces privacy settings that lowers power consumption and builds upon the government-grade security features of the Bluetooth specification. The new privacy features put control back into the hands of the consumer by making it difficult for eavesdroppers to track a device through its Bluetooth connection without permission. For example, when shopping in a retail store with beacons, unless you’ve enabled permission for the beacon to engage with your device, you can’t be tracked.
Bluetooth 4.2 also increases the speed and reliability of data transfers between Bluetooth Smart devices. By increasing the capacity of Bluetooth Smart packets, devices transfer data up to 2.5 times faster than with previous versions.
Building on the capabilities released earlier with Bluetooth 4.1 and the new features released in 4.2, the Internet Protocol Support Profile (IPSP) will allow Bluetooth Smart sensors to access the Internet directly via IPv6/6LoWPAN. IP connectivity makes it possible to use existing IP infrastructure to manage Bluetooth Smart "edge" devices. This is ideal for connected home scenarios that need both personal and wide area control. This profile will be ratified by the end of the year.