Feeds

Can Wi-Fi really compete with Bluetooth?

Ozmo's PAN tech pipes up at Computex

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

Intel isn't ready to give up on pushing Wi-Fi just yet, and is pitching the technology as a competitor to Bluetooth with demonstrations by Ozmo Devices scheduled for today at the Computex trade show in Taipei.

Intel has great interest in Wi-Fi, and the Centrino brand has done a lot to get the wireless networking technology into laptops. But having achieved almost complete penetration into computers Intel would now like to see Wi-Fi spreading into headphones, MP3 players and televisions - just the spaces where Bluetooth is making inroads.

The first problem to be overcome is the inability of most Wi-Fi-equipped laptops to connect to more than one network at a time, and this is addressed by Intel's "Cliffside" technology that allows multiple connections. Next up is for devices to be able to identify themselves, Intel has created a proprietary standard for device negotiations, which they hope to incorporate into 802.11 at some point in the future.

The next component is a low-powered implementation of Wi-Fi, which can be cheaply embedded into consumer electronics, this is where Ozmo Devices come in, and what they are demonstrating in Taipei.

The pitch is that Wi-Fi PANs will be cheaper as laptops won't need what's described as "Legacy technologies such as Bluetooth that require another, dedicated radio". Ozmo reckons they can compete with Bluetooth on power consumption, and offer greater speed, along with reduced cost as peripheral device manufactures won't need to bundle Bluetooth dongles.

That might play well in Palo Alto, where Ozmo is based, but in Europe and Asia Bluetooth is already embedded in everything and any competitor is going to show a clear and distinct advantage to gain any market share.

Wi-Fi bands are already overcrowded in many areas, and multiplying the number of Wi-Fi devices by seven (Cliffside can support seven simultaneous Wi-Fi connections) isn't going to help at all.

Bluetooth does clever frequency-hopping stuff that Wi-Fi lacks, to avoid interference, but the real power of the standard is the SDP – Service Discovery Protocol. The SDP is used to negotiate between devices, and will be used to create new connections over UWB or even Wi-Fi.

Unless the technology can address serious deficiencies in Bluetooth – and initial demonstrations don't show that - then it starts to look like a company squeezing their patented technology into any application they can, rather than trying to solve real problems. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

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
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
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
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
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.