Bluetooth. The first time you heard the word was probably when you got your first cell phone and wanted it to connect to someone else’s. That’s what Bluetooth is the ability to connect wirelessly with other devices. The cool thing about this technology is that it does not require an Internet connection, making it even more widely available.
Bluetooth technology has evolved — like most modern technology — in some amazing ways. Here are examples of Bluetooth innovations that were introduced this year:
Wireless gaming controllers have gone Bluetooth. You can now use the controllers on any of your devices: your iPad, your tablet, your smartphone, or even your computer. A Bluetooth controller eliminates all the hassle of a touch screen, allowing the player to be more precise in his movements.
Wireless controllers have increased their features and have decreased in price. PlayStation 4 has a controller with three LED displays to let the gamer know what’s going on with other players, a share button to pass along stats to Facebook, and a touchpad, which allows gamers a whole new way of playing video games.
BLE — or Bluetooth Low Energy — is the newest technology introduced in 2014.
One of the irritating facets of Bluetooth is its drain on the battery of a device. BLE has changed that. Instead of continuously streaming data, it has short data transmission bursts. For example, let’s say your Bluetooth headset streams about four hours of music before the battery wears out. Using BLE, you could listen to music for days.
Yes, headsets have been around a long time. But in early 2014, Jawbone introduced a jaw-breaking, low-cost headset called the Era that is designed to knock all other Bluetooth headsets off the market.
Voice activation is featured on many devices and now it’s on a Bluetooth headset. Long-pressing on a button will activate Google Now or Siri. It also has a built-in control feature that lets you find it when it’s lost. All regular Bluetooth features are taken to the highest level — Military-grade Noise Assassin, for example, really does get rid of all background noise, even in a crowded room.
In August, the company SQueo announced that at the end of the year 2014 it would be introducing the first pocket-sized, waterproof Bluetooth speaker. The speaker is water-, sand- and dust-proof, and is available in three colors.
The Bluetooth speaker can float and can be connected to all of your Bluetooth devices. It has a built-in microphone, which lets you make phone calls, even in speakerphone mode. You can stream eight hours’ worth of music before you need to charge it. The SQueo is the first Bluetooth speaker that can brave the elements.
For a while, Bluetooth seemed to be going nowhere. Now, however, the improvements seem to be increasing. Keep your eyes on the lookout for many more Bluetooth innovations in the future.