Bluetooth: wireless wonder or digital dead end?
Have your say on how history will judge
Heads or Fails Bluetooth, once hailed as the future basis for all local wireless communications, is now ubiquitous. Computers have it, ditto phones, portable media players, games consoles, cars and a host of other devices.
But how many owners of the millions and millions of Bluetooth-enabled gadgets that are sold every year actually make use of the technology?
Even now, 16 years after the technology was developed by networking company Ericsson, Bluetooth headset users are still sufficiently rare a sight to provoke giggles, guffaws and catcalls.
True, it's a crucial technology for the motorist, allowing the driver to make and take calls without taking his or her hands off the steering wheel, but its other applications have been grasped by other technologies, from Wi-Fi to USB 2.0.
Tethering laptops to a phone is one role that Bluetooth has yet to yield to a rival, but how long before 3G HSDPA connectivity - or WiMax, if you're an Intel employee - becomes standard on mobile computers?
Bluetooth has failed to keep pace with the needs of consumer electronics for a wireless way of ridding living rooms of the cabling that dangles behind the back of every telly. Bluetooth 4.0 may one day be able to do this, but by then Wireless HD, WiGig and WHDI will all be commonplace - or one will have come to reign supreme. What hope for Bluetooth then?
So, will history judge Bluetooth a success or a failure? Is it time to put the notion of the PAN back in the cupboard from whence it came?
What do you think?
Bluetooth is a success
taken a picture on your phone and want your mate to have a copy too? Bluetooth. Bumb into an old friend in the street, tell them about your new band and wanna send them a sample track? Bluetooth. Bluetooth is a success in small-volume transfurs that don't warrant getting out a cable (which would be hard to do with a lot of phones anyway, as most dont support mobile to mobile via USB, if indeed they that capability...)
So bluetooth is good for a few more years and we will always need a way to wirelessly share files.
I've got the POWER!
No, sorry, it's not Drashek, it's someone else.
Bluetooth does what no other PAN/WLAN offering currently can - maintain a connection to a small battery-powered gadget without draining its battery flat in minutes. Of the many alternatives suggested in the article, BT still has the edge on power consumption, and when BTLE becomes the norm, it'll cement itself even more firmly into its niche.
For the immediately foreseeable future, I can't imagine BT being superseded by much else.
Bring on more!
Bluetooth? Can't live without it!
In the olden days you got a stare when you talked to your tie using a headset.
Now nobody bothers to search for the cable.
It used to be
- It took a long time to develop stable and working Bluetooth stacks
- Power drain
+ BT devices run point to point without a hitch
+ BT power consumption is down
+ The kids use it
+ It is cheap
- Pairing still an issue for the technologically impaired
+ BT power consumption will go down further
+ Pairing will be taken care of by NFC (Nokia committed to it, IIRC)
That leaves proper multipoint connections to be implemented.
So that one headset can be connected to two or three phones and a laptop.