Ever since the introduction of Bluetooth with its first phone two decades ago, the technology has seen a lot of changes. One of the most significant milestones was in 2010, where the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) revealed its formal adoption of Bluetooth Version 4.0 with Low Energy (LE) technology. While Bluetooth could handle a large amount of data, it unfortunately consumed battery life quickly and also costed more. BLE, on the other hand, could be used for applications that did not require the exchange of large amounts of data, therefore achieving the ability to run on battery power for up to 5 years, and at a cheaper cost.
Apple was one of the first to recognize the advantages of LE technology and advertised its new iPhone 4S as the first smartphone to support Bluetooth v4.0, following the release of BLE tablets and music players just a year later. In 2016, the Bluetooth SIG had gained membership from over 30,000 companies. They announced their newest standard, Bluetooth v5.0, and it was immediately adopted by Apple, Samsung and other major smartphone vendors.
As Bluetooth technology continue innovating in yet another decade, a new milestone once again is arriving with SIG stating that they are finalizing new support for Bluetooth LE Audio with features that have not been possible before. A highlight among higher-quality audio, broadcasting, and multi-stream features is the development of official support for Bluetooth hearing aids, with broad support working with multiple devices. The group has promised all its benefits of wireless calling, listening, and watching, to the growing number of people with hearing loss.