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Bluetooth Technology

"Automatic communication between various devices within a small area in a house or an office makes it possible to provide unique and innovative services to a professional worker or a small group of workers using portable devices. Bluetooth technology has this potential and is coming along fast and quick. It will replace clumsy wires, make information transfer automatic without synchronization cradles and introduce many new applications. Technology visionaries hope that it will do what infra red could not do over the past six years." - Editor

In an attempt to standardize data transfer and synchronization between disparate mobile devices in the short-distance range, Intel and Microsoft established in 1998 a major industry consortium that included IBM, Toshiba, Ericsson, Nokia, and Puma Technology. 

Code-named Blue Tooth for the 10th century Danish king who unified Denmark, the companies have created a single synchronization protocol to address end-user problems arising from the proliferation of various mobile devices -- including smart phones, smart pagers, PDAs, handheld PCs, copiers, printers, notebooks, and many future digital appliances at home -- that need to keep data consistent from one device to another. 

The proposed Bluetooth solutions (hardware and software-based) would automatically synchronize mobile devices when end-users enter their offices or home. Intel and others are designing the sending and receiving radio frequency chip sets. Price point for hardware is in $5-20 range eventually.

Since the start of this initiative in 1998, interest in Bluetooth has grown tremendously - signified by 1800 members of Bluetooth consortium by mid 2000.

While Bluetooth consortium demonstrated prototype products in the 1999-2000, there are no production-quality enduser products using blue tooth technology as of now, as far as we know.  Component products (radios and chips) that can be integrated into finished products have started becoming available from Ericsson and others. However, here is an opportunity for more start-up companies. irDA is a competing technology and has been implemented in many products for over 6-7 years now but BlueTooth has a few distinct advantages - with Ericsson/Microsoft/Intel team behind it.  In our opinion, there are relative benefits with several competing technologies - there is some overlap too. Let competitive products thrive so that we the users get the best solutions.

How does Blue Tooth compare to irDA - a competitive (or complimentary) technology? Click here for a vendor viewpoint by Counterpoint division of Extended Systems.

Acknowledgement: The original content for this topic was provided by Puneet Gupta, a technology specialist and freelance writer based in Bangalore, India.  Mr. Gupta is involved in software development for telecommunications infrastructure.  This content was enhanced and edited by MobileInfo.Com technical staff.


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