While Bluetooth has been around forever, Bluetooth Low Energy (AKA Bluetooth Smart) is a complete rethink of short range, low power wireless communication, and there’s a huge amount of interesting around this new standard, as well as some interesting new chips coming out that use it. BLE is supported by iOS, Android (as of version 4.3), Windows Phone, Windows 8, OSX, Linux (via BlueZ) … just about anything you’re likely to have in your pocket, and a decent chance something you have on your desk. BLE is definately on our radar in house. That’s a large part of the appeal … as a technology, it has a very low barrier to entry to a lot of devices that people already own and are comfortable using, without the cost and power issues of other standards like Wifi.
If you’re looking to get a top level view of what’s different about BLE, Bluetooth Low Energy: The Developper’s Handbook by Robin Heydon is a good start. The author was involved in the design of BLE, so he knows his material, but it’s also very accessible even if you aren’t coming from a Bluetooth or wireless background.
If you have any other good BLE resources, feel free to post them up in the comments below!