After years of making Bluetooth wireless technology a standard feature of nearly every device with an Apple logo, Apple has been invited to join the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG)'s board of directors. The board already included standard industry names such as Intel and Microsoft, alongside several major cell phone and laptop manufacturers.
The SIG is a non-profit group that oversees Bluetooth development, and licenses the technology to third parties. Its members define the broad and specific strategies for the future of the technological standard.
Apple’s appointment to the board gives the company a literal seat at the table when discussing future development of Bluetooth specifications. Apple's inclusion on the SIG's board makes good sense; the company has sold millions of Bluetooth-equipped iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches—along with many millions of Bluetooth-equipped Macs, wireless keyboards, and the Magic Mouse and Trackpad.
The SIG aims to finalize version 4.0 of the Bluetooth standard later this year. Bluetooth 4.0 will include a low-power standard designed to allow embedded electronics to run for months or years off of a watch battery, although as a guy who does the Bluetooth shuffle on all of my gizmos—turning on Bluetooth only when needed to maximize battery life—I’ll believe it when I see it. Apple's presence on the SIG's board, however, ensures that the company will have a voice in the technology's future. With any luck, that means Apple will be quick to implement the latest Bluetooth advancements, too.