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