Feeds

Bluetooth finally reaches ten (years, not users)

Happy 'toothday - or is it?

The Power of One Infographic

Stereo headphones are something punters can understand, as a derivation from a technology already providing mono sound - brushing aside the fact that the two mechanisms are technically unrelated. Sending music to a speaker system naturally follows on from that, but still pegs the technology as an audio-streaming solution rather than anything more serious.

The sad thing about Bluetooth is that its most powerful feature is the one that puts off the majority of users. The Service Discovery Protocol, which allows a device to cast around and introduce itself to other devices, then ask those devices what services they can provide, is superb, and should provide an elegant user experience. Unfortunately appalling interface design, and the popularity of the technology, have conspired to make pairing two Bluetooth devices far more complicated than it needs to be.

Hello, is there anybody out there?

So complex, indeed, that the Bluetooth SIG is now adopting NFC (Near Field Communications) as a way of exchanging credentials by tapping two devices together.

Bluetooth's other great drawback - speed - is also being addressed by using Bluetooth to set up and maintain Wi-Fi or Ultra-Wide-Band connections where two Bluetooth devices discover they have a high-speed option in common.

Even the supposed strength of Bluetooth, the low power consumption, is being challenged by the technology-formerly-known-as-WiBree – now to be called "Bluetooth Ultra" or something like that. Whatever it ends up being christened, the low-power standard shares nothing with its parent beyond a frequency and some branding.

Bluetooth has always been a collection of standards, nicking data formats and protocols from other systems and sending them over Bluetooth-radio connections - but soon the Bluetooth-radio itself might simply be a channel that allows devices to negotiate a better way of communicating.

In another ten years I'm confident all my electronics will be using Bluetooth, but whether that standard will share more than a brand with what I'm using today is more debatable. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup
Just hook us up to more 10Gbps ports, backbone biz yells in tit-for-tat spat
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.