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Bluetooth 4.0 is an optimized version of the proprietary wireless Bluetooth technology standard for data exchange over short distances. Bluetooth 4.0 enhances Bluetooth technology while maintaining compatibility with classic Bluetooth-capable devices.
Bluetooth 4.0 uses low energy technology, allowing manufacturers to include Bluetooth in small battery operated devices. This new energy specification is a key benefit for developers and consumers of handheld and compatible devices.
Bluetooth 4.0 is also known as Bluetooth Smart, Bluetooth Smart Ready and Bluetooth Low Energy (LE).
At the time of its October 2011 release, Bluetooth 4.0 was only included with iPhone 4S, Macbook Air and Mac Mini devices. However, Bluetooth 4.0 is backward compatible with earlier Bluetooth versions.
Bluetooth 4.0 is geared toward the fitness/health industry and built for sensor devices, such as pedometers and heart rate monitors, which include a Bluetooth 4.0 radio capable of exclusive communication with Bluetooth 4.0 devices.
Bluetooth 4.0 devices employ dual-mode radios, which facilitate Bluetooth 4.0 transmission while using classic Bluetooth technology, such as mobile device connectivity. This means that an iPhone 4S (a Bluetooth 4.0 device) can gather information from a Bluetooth 4.0 pedometer while connected to a traditional Bluetooth device, like a car stereo.