Beyond the headset: Android to expand support for Bluetooth

Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) push for Bluetooth technology could mean that future versions of Android will have support for a wider range of Bluetooth applications, including for heart monitors, medical devices, smartphones, tablets and, just maybe, Google Glass. The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), a not-for-profit trade association based in Kirkland, Wash., said last month it had gotten Google to commit to native support in API 18 for Bluetooth Smart Ready devices, which use version 4.0 of the technology standard, sometimes called Bluetooth Low Energy. The technology reduces power consumption via a low pulsing method but also works with the previous "Bluetooth Classic" versions. These Bluetooth Smart Ready devices, which run on a dual-mode chipset, can include a range of accessories such as the Fitbit Flex or the much-discussed Pebble watch. Developers will get an Android API that will allow them to feed data from Bluetooth Smart Ready devices to their apps and back more easily than has ever been possible. What are the implications of that? Find out in this FierceDeveloper special report.