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Old Tuesday, October 03, 2006
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Default BlueTooth-Er@ of Chang3!

It's hard to get excited about promising new technologies these days when all your favorite tech stocks are getting pounded. Nonetheless, Bluetooth is something that everybody should know about because it's coming and it's going to be big.

What is Bluetooth?

Bluetooth technology allows digital devices in close proximity to connect instantly without the need for cables. It uses a chip with a built-in, short-range radio transceiver that works for voice and data. The basic idea is spontaneous networking for any and all digital devices -- PCs, laptops, mobile phones, handhelds (PDAs), and smart devices of the future including cars, home entertainment, and other intelligent appliances. This simplifies the point of access for voice and data connections and creates a seamless user experience across all your digital devices.

Think of Bluetooth as allowing different devices to share their best features and functionality with each other spontaneously and without wires, and without the cost of building all that functionality into each device. You'll be lending the computing power of your desktop to your PalmPilot simply by bringing them near one another, or lending the connective functionality of your phone to your washing machine, digital camera, and dozens of other soon-to-be-smart devices.

How does it work?

How will this come in handy? You receive an email on your PC from a friend who switched jobs, so his email address and phone number have changed. Your PalmPilot, phone, and laptop spontaneously update his information so that the next time you call him on your phone you don't even think twice about whether you have the right number.

Here's another example. You have a phone conversation with a new business lead that you'd like to tell your colleague about. Instead of calling your coworker and trying to relate the conversation, you just forward the recorded call which has been converted into MP3 format for instant download with a message saying "Hey, listen to this...."

Walk into an airport and information on your flight and gate will automatically be displayed on your phone. Open up your laptop on the train into work and your phone automatically provides the Internet connection whenever needed. And ultimately you will carry a single phone that can remain in your pocket (you'll probably wear an earbud or lightweight headset) and it will function as a regular phone at home, as a cell phone while you're in the car or otherwise on the go, and as a walkie-talkie when communicating with other phones in close proximity. The possibilities are endless.

The creators

Bluetooth was named after a 10th-century Viking king who ruled over Denmark and Norway. Bluetooth as a technology standard is driven by the joint effort of several industry-leading technology companies. 3Com, Ericcson, Intel, IBM, Lucent, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia, and Toshiba are all part of a Special Interest Group that has banded together to speed the adoption of standards and develop the core technology to turn Bluetooth into reality.

The Bluetooth industry group says that before 2002 this technology will be built into hundreds of millions of devices. Most industry watchers believe it will be one to two years before Bluetooth is fully adopted on the consumer product front. Initially we will see it as add-ons to existing consumer electronics. The second phase will have Bluetooth specific chips and modules "under the skin" of products. We should start seeing that in cell phones and a few other products in the next year. The final phase will be integration of Bluetooth capabilities directly into microprocessor ICs and systems.

Competition

Bluetooth isn't the only game in town when it comes to short-range wireless connectivity. Something called 802.11 (pronounced eight-oh-two-dot-eleven) wireless Ethernet represents competition in some form, though it targets different uses with its much faster high-speed connection to a network. Bluetooth is a lower-cost, lower-power consumption (i.e., greater portability), lower-speed technology ideal for connection with nearby peripherals.

HOPE U ALL FIND IT INTERESTING!
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