The body tasked with maintaining the Bluetooth standard has agreed its new iteration, Bluetooth 2.1+ EDR (Enhanced Data Rate).

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) has announced unanimous approval of the new standard by its 8,000-member strong group.

The new Bluetooth should be more secure, demand less power and be easier to use than before. Pairing devices, for example, should be more consistent and consumer-friendly.

This version of the specification establishes new standards for pairing devices, establishing consistent scanning, pairing, security and authentication when using Bluetooth.

Bluetooth 2.1+ EDR simplifies pairing, improves security and means users can hope that in future Bluetooth devices can be connected together "in a few seconds," promised the Bluetooth SIG.

Battery life in Bluetooth devices such as mice and keyboards should increase "by up to five times" using the new standard, the organisation said.

With 13 million Bluetooth units shipped each week and an installed base of over one billion enabled devices, improvements in the standard are of consequence.

Version 2.1+ EDR also enables an ultra short range technology called Near Field Communication (NFC). This will allow users to pair devices much faster.

Component manufacturers Broadcom, CSR, Infineon and Texas Instruments are expected to make Bluetooth v2.1+ EDR chips available immediately, with the first products that implement the standard expected at retail by the end of the year.

A video demonstration of Version 2.1+ EDR is available to view online.