Thursday, May 01, 2003

Healing Bluetooth’s black eye

When Bluetooth was first announced to the world, it was supposed to signal the end of messy cables. Instead, the prohibitive cost of Bluetooth products and the difficulty in using them to manage connections on devices without large screens and easy-to-see graphics helped separate the hype from reality.

The initial problem was obvious. I don’t need Bluetooth to exchange files between computers and devices. Conventional networking does that just fine. If it’s just meant to get rid of cables, the cost is not justifiable.

And with the explosive growth of Wi-Fi, all of a sudden people were beginning to cast doubts on the viability of Bluetooth (in the business sense). As you’d expect, everyone’s got something to say, and we’re all Monday’s experts with the benefit of hindsight.

These days, a proliferation of consumer products that incorporate Bluetooth connectivity is starting to emerge. Best of all, prices are falling fast and it no longer takes a rocket scientist to use these products.

Later this year, you can expect to see more Bluetooth-enabled products, such as the Nokia Digital Pen and the Sony Ericsson HBM-30 music player, hitting the shelves. Last I heard, some companies are even developing game cartridges that integrate Bluetooth connectivity.


With more and more manufacturers incorporating this technology into their product line-up, it would appear that Bluetooth is finally seeing the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel.

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