Bluetooth, in the opinion of some, is not a exy technology. Nevertheless, newer phones like the iPhone 5 and 6 and the Android-powered HTC EVO 4G LTE use the newer Bluetooth 4.0 tech, also called Smart Bluetooth, which, besides being easier on your battery, connects to a litany of devices to provide a richer stream of data.
Motorola’s H19TXT Headset
This headset fits over your ear for making phone calls and listening to music. To connect the device to your phone, you tap it once. (Your smartphone has to support NFC, or near-field communication, for the tap-to-connect function to work.)
Motorola offers a free app called Motospeak that lets you dictate a text message, and there are two microphones in the headset to capture your voice more accurately.
Ten One Design: Pogo Connect
This smart pen for your iPad 3 (or new iPad, as Apple officially calls it) communicates over Bluetooth 4.0, the latest low-power wireless protocol.
In a supported drawing app like Procreate or SketchBook Pro, the pen communicates the level of pressure you are applying to the touchscreen.
Ten One says the pen can last months on one AAA battery due to the low-power transmission, and there’s even an app you can use to find the device if you stuff it in a drawer somewhere.
If you own an iPad 1 or 2, which do not support Bluetooth 4.0, you can run a bridge app on your iPhone 4S or iPhone 5 that re-transmits the pressure sensitivity to your older tablet.
Pebble E-Paper Watch
This Bluetooth 4.0 watch communicates with your Android or iPhone 4S/5 to show incoming calls, email, calendar items, Facebook and Twitter updates, weather, and alarms.
The 144 x 168–pixel display can be customized with digital watch faces. Pebble plans to release additional apps that independent developers create. The watch also has a vibrating motor to alert you with a soft pulse. Pricing starts at $99 for an early-bird all-black model.
Wahoo Fitness KICKR
Most wireless workout machines use an older technology like ANT to transmit your speed and distance to a smartphone app. (You need an adapter on your phone to receive the signal.)
The KICKR uses Bluetooth 4.0 to send the data directly to your phone.
KICKR turns your own bike into a stationary bike by replacing the rear wheel. A flywheel that replicates the inertia you would feel on the trail; you can adjust the resistance of the device manually or by using an app.
You can also use apps like TrainerRoad and Kinomap Trainer to simulate a real workout course. The KICKR also measures wattage output, a more accurate measure of your workout than calories, and tracks your speed history.
The Nike Hyperdunk+ basketball shoes use the same tiny sole-mounted sensor found in the Nike+ line of running shoes that communicates wirelessly with your iPhone 4S/5; it measures your prowess on the basketball court.
You can track your steps per second, your vertical leap, or your hustle on the court (shown as a Nike Fuel number), then share your scores on the Nike+ portal or on Facebook.
This hand-size docking station weighs just 21 ounces and measures a hair under 7 inches long but sounds 10 times as big.
There are three front speakers, and a 3.5-mm port for connecting your phone or tablet. You can also stream over Bluetooth 3.0.
The bump in audio quality comes from a technology called Wideband that increases the fidelity for low and high frequencies. The radio lasts for about 8 hours on a charge, doubles as a speakerphone, and comes with a carrying bag.
Withings Wireless Scale WS-30
An improved version of the original Withings scale, the WS-30 can now transmit over Bluetooth directly to your smartphone.
The scale measures weight and body-mass index, and can post the results directly to Twitter and Facebook so your friends can offer support for your weight-losing endeavor.
With Bluetooth, you do not need a Wi-Fi router around. The newer model can also upload to apps like RunKeeper, DailyBurn, and Microsoft HealthVault.
The Scosche RHYTHM is an armband sensor that sends your exact pulse rate to your iPhone 4S/5 or Android phone. (Be sure to check if your Android can work with Bluetooth 4.0 first.)
The RHYTHM tracks your distance on a run, maps your route, and tracks calories burned in addition to monitoring your pulse. It keeps a history of each run and a summary of total miles for your workout. The apps are free to download.