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Qualcomm quietly buys up Bluetooth experts

While everyone distracted by patent spats

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C-Net is reporting that last December Qualcomm quietly bought up audio-streaming specialists Open Internet North America, though neither company has made a formal announcement about the purchase.

The deal would make sense for Qualcomm, who have big ideas for the mobile phone as a home-media server which will need high-quality wireless connections to the rest of the home. The company has demonstrated streaming video from a handset to a TV screen, using 3G Femtocell technology, so buying in some Bluetooth and UWB experience would fit well into that strategy.

Open Interface North America (OINA) certainly have those skills, and already provide the Bluetooth stack for the iPhone and, rather more impressively, Logitech's FreePulse headphones. They also have their own, lossless codec for high-quality audio streaming, and have been experimenting with Ultra Wideband ahead of its incorporation into the Bluetooth standard.

Neither Qualcomm nor OINA would comment on the story, but the connection makes sense, as providing Qualcomm with the skills they need if they're really going to make the mobile phone into a media hub. ®

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