The Bluetooth SIG used CTIA this week as its stage to officially unveil its 2.1 + EDR standard
, offering a number of improvements that should reduce the frustration factor commonly associated with device pairing while simultaneously kicking security up a notch. It'll be fully backward compatible (whew) while kicking in a few goodies for new devices that manage to support it; besides the aforementioned security gains, power consumption should be lower and pairing is almost totally automatic (in fact, for devices taking advantage of the new NFC
support, it's as simple as touching them together). Look for the standard to become available to interested manufacturers "soon," which means we'll see devices in the pipeline in the late 2011 to early 2012 time frame. We kid, we kid!