Bluetooth devices will become easier to pair with each other and use, now that the latest version of the wireless communication specification has been given the green light.

The latest version of the Bluetooth standard (Bluetooth Core Specification Version 2.1 EDR), approved by the Bluetooth SIG, will deliver a much easier and quicker process for pairing Bluetooth devices. Instead of many different (and often complicated) pairing procedures, Bluetooth 2.1 EDR will use a much simpler, more standardized approach to pairing implementation. This will include more straightforward menu options - using user-friendly language rather than tech-speak - and automatic pairing procedures for some devices, such as Bluetooth headsets.

The new Bluetooth 2.1 EDR standard can also support NFC (Near Field Communication) technology - similar to the Oyster Card technology used on the London Underground - so that devices could be paired simply by putting two devices close together.

Bluetooth 2.1 EDR will also deliver significant power-saving benefits to Bluetooth-enabled devices. The Bluetooth SIG claims current battery life could be increased by up to 5 times by the new technology.

The first devices featuring Bluetooth 2.1 EDR technology should be available early in 2008. You can view a video demo of Bluetooth 2.1 EDR devices here .