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Future Directions and Progress as a Bluetooth SIG Promoter

Future Directions

Bluetooth technology provides two modes of communication: Basic Rate/Enhanced Data Rate (BR/EDR), which is suitable for continuous wireless connections for one-to-one device communications, and Low Energy (LE), which allows for short bursts of data transfer and thus expands the use of Bluetooth radio to low-power applications. In addition to point-to-point (P2P) networking, the LE mode supports one-to-many broadcasting and many-to-many mesh networking with high reliability and scalability.

Toshiba is leading the way in the use of low-power technology for Bluetooth applications. Bluetooth communication is becoming widely used in power-sensitive coin-cell-operated applications into which a Bluetooth function could not previously be incorporated. This trend is enabling the wireless collection and statistical analysis of data, contributing to creation of new value. The Bluetooth one-to-many data broadcast mode is finding more applications such as accurate positioning using Bluetooth beacons and sharing of sensor data.

In the coming years, many-to-many wireless communication using a mesh topology will be realized. Easy Setup and Easy Maintenance will become the key factors of the mesh's success. Once they are realized, the reliability and scalability will also be realized in the systems while data security being maintained.

Progress to Date

As a SIG promoter, Toshiba has led the standardization of Bluetooth technologies and realized wireless communication between a PC and a smartphone, between a PC and peripheral devices, and between a smartphone and peripheral devices. The technologies for these wireless communications have been provided to SIG member companies for the promotion of Bluetooth brand.

Promotion of Bluetooth communication for PC applications

Toshiba began the promotion of Bluetooth technology, primarily targeting PCs. In order to allow existing PCs to use Bluetooth communication, Toshiba has developed PC cards and software stacks as well as Bluetooth modems. Toshiba has also released PCs with a Bluetooth capability to be used as reference models for the development of Bluetooth-ready peripherals.

Founding of a Bluetooth certification company and promotions of Bluetooth communication for PC peripheral applications

Toshiba founded a Bluetooth certification company to help commercialize Bluetooth-capable products and thereby increase the uptake of Bluetooth communication in other applications. Toshiba has also developed ICs, SD cards, USB dongles and other Bluetooth products to promote the use of Bluetooth communication in PC peripherals.

Promotion of Bluetooth communication for cellular phones, smartphones and home appliance applications

Toshiba released cellular phones with Bluetooth capability, and has provided Bluetooth solutions for cellular phones and smartphones to make it possible for them to communicate with PCs and their peripherals. In addition, Toshiba has promoted network-enabled home appliances, and has released refrigerators, oven-toaster-grills (OTGs), home washer-dryers, air conditioners and access points with Bluetooth capabilities. This movement accelerated the creation of new Internet remote home services. 

Promotion of Bluetooth communication for audiovisual applications

Toshiba has released Bluetooth headsets capable of recognizing voice commands, Bluetooth LCD projectors and other Bluetooth-ready products in order to provide new Bluetooth experiences.

Promotion of Bluetooth communication by providing Bluetooth stacks

Toshiba has participated in various working groups (WGs) for Bluetooth standardization. Our major contributions in AVWG include the development of success scenarios for audiovisual applications using Bluetooth BR/EDR, considering common use scenarios where users switch from voice communication to music playback and vice versa. In addition, Toshiba has provided Bluetooth stacks that incorporate its technical expertise to its competitors, contributing to the promotion of Bluetooth Audio and other aspects of Bluetooth technology. Furthermore, in order to help reduce the time required for Bluetooth pairing and simplify user operation, Toshiba proposed Bluetooth auto connection technology, contributing to the improvement of Bluetooth usability.


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