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Next attraction: Bluetooth 3.0

Posted on: April 13, 2009

Next attraction: Bluetooth 3.0

By Anna Valmero
First Posted 12:47:00 04/13/2009

Filed Under: Computing & Information Technology, Technology (general)

MANILA, Philippines—Bluetooth-enabled devices would be able to use wireless fidelity-powered devices to transfer information soon.

Bluetooth refers to a wireless technology operating at a short-range, and uses the 2.4 GHz radio frequency band. It allows fixed and mobile devices to transfer data, voice or both at 3 megabits per second.

On April 21, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) said Bluetooth 3.0 would be unveiled.

“This is the wireless technology equivalent of a low hanging fruit,” Bluetooth SIG executive director Michael Foley said in a statement. “What we are doing is taking classic Bluetooth connections–using Bluetooth protocols, profiles, security and other architectural elements–and allowing it to jump on top of the already present 802.11 radio, when necessary, to send bulky entertainment data, faster.”

Simply put, the Bluetooth version would allow devices, such as phones to “borrow” wireless fidelity (WiFi) connections on the same device.

This paves way for wireless bulk synchronization of music libraries between PC and MP3 player, bulk download of photos to a printer or PC and video file transfer from camera or phone to computer or TV at a rate of 3 megabits per second, according to the Bluetooth SIG.

“When the speed of 802.11 is overkill, the connection returns to normal operation on a Bluetooth radio for optimal power management and performance,” he added.

In mid-2008, Foley disclosed the new Bluetooth specification would be able to ride on the WiFi and ultra-wideband (UWB) protocol.

In 2006, the Bluetooth SIG selected the WiMedia Alliance brand of UWB technology as a high speed channel for Bluetooth technology, said Bluetooth SIG.

Development work of the two bodies to co-locate UWB technology in Bluetooth devices is underway. However, the Bluetooth SIG would use 802.11, a wireless technology present in many devices today.

This two-phased road map would also allow for a steady evolution in Bluetooth devices using 802.11 today while readying for the presence of UWB in the near future, said Bluetooth SIG.

“We are committed to speedy wireless personal area network connections and we will always be looking for the best near term and long term way to accomplish that,” added Foley. “The greatness of a generic alternate radio architecture being developed is that it’s adaptable.”

There are nearly 2 billion Bluetooth-equipped products in the market.

“The Bluetooth SIG is taking a logical step by applying Bluetooth protocols over an existing 802.11 radio to achieve efficient transfers of high data throughput applications,” said Flint Pulskamp, wireless and mobile analyst at IDC, in a statement.

Flint added: “Since Bluetooth and 802.11 already have significant traction in mobile devices, this coupled solution could prove to be an efficient interim solution, as the Bluetooth SIG continues to develop UWB for the future.”

Global sales of Bluetooth-enabled handset will grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 7.68 percent rfrom 2011 to 2015, noted Global Industry Analysts Inc.


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