1.2 What Are Bluetooth Profiles?
Time and time again, developers, sales, marketing and users often wonder and ask what are the Bluetooth Profiles? Profiles enable end-user functionality by defining user and behaviour characteristics. They have many defining objectives, one of which is to achieve a level of interoperability between manufacturers. In defining their functionality, certain expectations are made of the underlying Bluetooth protocol stack. Each profile defines what features of the stack are required and how they are subsequently used. In Figure 1-2, we illustrate the dependencies of all the profiles within the current specification as a hierarchal organisation. In Figure 1-3, we illustrate the components that make up a typical Blue-tooth protocol stack.
Figure 1-2 An hierarchal organisation of the current profiles, illustrating the dependent profiles.
Figure 1-3 A typical structure forming the components that make up a Bluetooth protocol stack.
As an application developer, you will embody the functionality within your Blue-tooth specific application and utilise the underlying capabilities of a Bluetooth protocol stack through an Application Programming Interface (API). All profiles define a set of user interface expectations and these will surface through your applications to the user. The user will become familiar with the terminology and should experience a commonality of features between the various manufacturers' products. This is evident in the common terminology mandated by the Profiles as to what should be described to the user. In one such example, a user is prompted to enter a Bluetooth Passkey, which will be common to all products whether embedded (mobile phones, wireless modems and so on) or used in a Microsoft Windows or Linux operating system environment.
The Profiles define a minimum set of characteristics that should be inherent in all products. Manufacturers should avoid a re-education of the 'user-population' by adhering to the philosophy that users have already developed a relationship with the technology that surrounds them on a daily basis. The purpose of any new technology should be that of support rather than suppression.