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Bluetooth Profiles

Last Updated: Jan 31, 2014 11:25AM EST

Bluetooth profiles indicate the general functionality or minimum requirements that a Bluetooth-enabled device must support in order to communicae with another Bluetooth device in a specific user scenario. A Bluetooth profile must contain at least the following information:

  • Any dependencies on other profiles
  • Suggested user interface formats
  • Specific parts of the Bluetooth protocol stack that are used by the profile.

Profiles make Bluetooth devices compatible enough to be able to connect with each other.

There are two types of Bluetooth profiles:

  • Conforming - Define core requirements for a Bluetooth device and are available by default.
  • Interoperability - Define minimum requirements for a Bluetooth device to support a specific application. These profiles are based upon conforming profiles.

The following is a list of Bluetooth profiles.

Conforming Profiles 

GAP 

Generic Access Profile
The basis for all other profiles; it defines the generic requirements for detecting and establishing a Bluetooth connection.

GEOP 

Generic Object Exchange Profile
Defines protocols and procedures for support of Object Exchange Protocol (OBEX) usage models.

SPP 

Serial Port Profile
Defines procedures required for configuring serial cable connections between peer Bluetooth devices using the RFCOMM protocol.

Interoperability Profiles 

A2DP 

Advanced Audio Distribution Profile
Defines how high quality audio can be streamed from a media source or SRC (such as an MP3 player) to a sink or SNK (such as a headset or car radio).

AVRCP 

Audio/Video Remote Control Profile
Provides a standard interface to control all user-accessible A/V devices (such as TVs and stereo audio equipment) using a single remote control (or other device). Can be used with A2DP.

HFP 

Hands-Free Profile
Defines how a mobile device (such as a cell phone) can be used in conjunction with a hands-free device over a Bluetooth link; allows the hands-free device to function as an audio input/output device for the mobile device. Depends on SPP.

HID 

Human Interface Device Profile
Defines protocols and procedures to support human interface devices such as a mouse, keyboard, pointing and gaming devices, and remote monitoring devices. Designed to provide a low latency link with low power requirements.

HSP 

Headset Profile
Defines protocols and procedures to support interoperability between a mobile device (such as a cell phone) and a headset. The headset uses AT commands to control the mobile device. Depends on SPP.

OPP 

Object Push Profile
Defines the roles of a push server and push client; defines protocols and procedures for sending small data objects (such as virtual business cards or appointment details) between Bluetooth devices.

Note: It is referred to as 'push' because the transfers are always initiated by the sender (client) rather than the receiver (server).

Depends on GEOP.

PAN 

Personal Area Networking Profile
Defines the necessary protocols and procedures that allow two or more Bluetooth devices to form an ad-hoc network or a remote network through a network access point. 
Intended to allow the use of Bluetooth Network Encapsulation Protocol on Layer 3 protocols for transmission over a Bluetooth link. 

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