The wireless personal area networking technology Bluetooth has been in search of a high-speed path for several years. It has been focused on using ultra-wideband (UWB), but its marriage to that technology isn’t going to happen very soon.
As an alternative to UWB, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group is going to use a Wi-Fi link to provide high-speed connectivity to swap large format files, like video, music and photos.
Bluetooth SIG Executive Director Mike Foley said Bluetooth will establish the pairing and security between two multimedia devices and then use Wi-Fi for the high-speed transfer. He said many of the SIG members already are building devices that have both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, so the SIG’s action will set up protocols to make sure there is interoperability.
It likely will be 2010 before a Bluetooth-UWB solution is possible, Foley said, so the SIG wanted to be pragmatic by using the Wi-Fi technology that already exists. “That said, work is continuing with UWB,” he said. “We’re committed to speedy wireless personal area network connections and we’ll always be looking for the best near-term and long-term way to accomplish that.”
With Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, consumers will be able to quickly transfer or synchronize music libraries between a PC and MP3 player, for instance, or send video from a mobile phone to a computer or TV screen.
Foley said Bluetooth/Wi-Fi products should be in the market in about a year.