Bluetooth: Specification 0.9 gets the all clear

After weeks of delay Bluetooth finally got version 0.9 of its specification released to members.
Written by Marc Ambasna Jones, Contributor

The latest specification includes Bluetooth device profiles which define a standard way to discover which Bluetooth services each device can accommodate. Before Bluetooth devices can talk to each other, they need to be initialised before communication can take place, to discover each other's capabilities.

Profiles enable this initialisation and subsequent communication, although at present, they are only at the level of Specification 0.8. These profiles are expected to be updated on an ongoing basis over the next few months, including an update to Specification 0.9 next month.

The profiles have been the main sticking point in the release of version 0.9 and the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) is now expecting version 1.0 to be put back to late August, when the profiles are a little more concrete.

"Profiles are a core layer of interoperability," said TDK Systems technical manager Nick Hunn. "The profiles and the service discovery software protocols have a major bearing on the main standard and given the amount of work that needs to be done to ensure interoperability between the profiles, it's going to be a bit of a rush to get version 1.0 of the standard out in time. It's more likely to be delayed until August. The last thing the SIG want is a non-interoperable product."

The new Spec also includes the Service Directory and Telephony Control Protocols. Hunn said that we will have to wait until version 1.0 is published before we can determine exactly which products will "sensibly" talk to each other.

"The trouble is," added Hunn, "you can put Bluetooth into just about anything, from a toaster to a 747, so the real problem is limiting particular types of device to talk to just the devices with which they can sensibly communicate."

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