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Sunday, April 10, 2005

Are Your Teeth Going Blue?

By Dale Davidson
You enter your office,your files, and images are transferred from your cell phone to your desk top wirelessly. The address books in your PC, cellphone and your desktop are synchronized wirelessly.You send photos from your cell phone to literally any receiver elsewhere in the world,through a wireless connection to your laptop, you may even transfer info form your cell to your printer, without wires.

Such is the wireless world that is on us!

You sit in front of your wireless keyboard and click your wireless mouse. Listen to a CD playing on the player in your notebook, while it is another room, play games all without any wires.

Imagine connecting up to 8 PCs without wires.

These are all made possible by Bluetooth Technology.

Bluetooth was developed during the last decade as a cutting edge open specification that enables short range wireless communication between PCs. handhelds, Personal Digital Assistants, mobile phones, digital cameras, printers, headsets and other computing and electronic devices. (continued...)

The name is taken from a 10th century Danish King...Harald Blatand or translated Harold Bluetooth.

Advantageous, because of its low cost and power consumption, Bluetooth operates on the 2.4 Ghz radio frequency, using a fast hopping spread technique. Simplistically, after receiving or sending data packets, it hops to a new channel, 1600 hops in one second, and there are 79 different channels.

Such fast cycling avoids interference from other signals, making the BlueTooth system more robust than others.

Beacuse it operates on radio waves, Bluetooth can operate through walls or from your briefcase, and does not need any directional sight for transmission, unlike infra-red, although infra-red may offer faster transmission.

The Bluetooth logo, is slowly becoming a part of everyday life.The logo program was designed to provide the industry with a mechanism to identify all Bluetooth enabled devices that meet Compliance and provide seamless operation and ease of use of enabled devices.

Over 3000 of the electronics companies including Sony-Ericcson, Hewlett-Packard, Nokia, Apple and Motorola have adopted the Bluetooth adopters agreement and are members of the Special Interest Group. This group is commited to development and implememtaion of BlueTooth

The Technology at present provides a 10 meter personal bubble Or Personal Area Network that supports transmission of both voice and data from multiple devices. As mentioned up to 8 devices can be connected in a piconet. A piconet is only a collection of devices connected via BlueTooth Technology.

Up to 10 piconets may exist with the WPAN.

One of the bigger advantages of Bluetooth is the low power consumption, which is less than a few percent than that of of modern mobile phones, in fact, power consumption can be automatically modified as needed as Bluetooth devices can identify each other,and modify needed power consumption based on signal strength or traffic volumes.

Bluetooth will soon begin showing-up in the Automobile industry, as manufacturers implement hands-free technology.

The hands-free profile allows your vehicle to communicate with a mobile Bluetooth device that comes in the vicinity. Bluetooth and voice recognition can provide drivers with voice-activated access to voice-mail, email and other information.

It is also expected that diagnostic information may even be extracted from your car using Bluetooth.

As you approach your automobile, the mirrors are adjusted, seats are moved to preset position,the doors are unlocked, and the interior lights are turned on without you having to do anything.

As with any new and emerging technology, there are some obstacles to be overcome before full adaptation, however the pace is increasing. Because the genesis of Bluetooth was to replace or eliminate cables, roaming features are not supported as in the 802.11b standard. Some members of the SIG are interested in seeing an increase in speed, distance and bandwith, thus increasing the potential platforms and applications used in the PAN market.

Security, is one area, where a great deal of emphasis is being placed as the specification evolves.

Mobile phone manufacturerrs have developed software upgrades for phones that are susceptible to types of hacking such as bluesnarfing which occurs in older model telephones, where a connecting can be made and information accessed with the user's knowledge, or Bluebugging or Blue jacking.

Devices are enable with 3 different security levels, the highest of which requires authentification and authorization before access is granted to any service available on the device.

Your mobile phone becomes useless if is lost because it can only be used by you.

Bluetooth has built-in encryption and authentication making it secure in any environment.

Another great feature, is the ability to switch to an undiscoverable mode, in which a device will not be identified. It was expected that 670 million devices would be Bluetooth enabled,so the future is looking brighter

Bluetooth is now showing up in Washer-Dryer, Microwave ovens, and refrigerators.

Apple Computer is rumored to be working on the next generation of the sensational iPod, which may offer wireless capability, using BlueTooth. The exciting possibiliy may allow downloading and listening to your player without touching any wires.

The possibilties are almost becoming almost unlimited, as new applications are developed daily, and the future may be indeed brighter and bluer.

To see some of the coolest Bluetooth devices visit BlueTooth Products at Amazon.com

About the author:
Dale Davidson is the publisher of an on-line newsletter "the eShopper on-line that provides free info, products and services to on-line consumers. With an extensive background in electronics, and membership in the IEEE, ASME among others, the newsletter provides regular info on from consumer electronics products. Can be reached via email or visit website: http://www.eConsumershop.com

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