Industry-wide success in the Bluetooth automotive telephony market may not necessarily translate into success for other Bluetooth vehicle applications, according to IMS Research.
IMS noted that 500 million wireless handsets shipped last year, and several major manufacturers now sell Bluetooth-enabled cars – not just in high-end models but in ordinary commuters. Yet Bluetooth for purposes such as audio/video streaming through car stereos is just beginning to gain popularity, in 10.7% of new cars last year, while wireless sensors are still rather obscure because of insufficient speed and low-power developments, the company said.
Also, most consumers are still unfamiliar with Bluetooth’s advanced audio distribution protocol, which enables stereo output – the technology is merely a geek’s luxury for now, in just 0.3% of new cars last year. “However, IMS predicts that this situation will change and as the number of A2DP-enabled peripheral devices increases so too will consumer adoption,” said analyst Filomena Berardi.
IMS did not make any public predictions about when that change will occur or how large the market will become – much is still to be determined, Berardi said.
“I think that Bluetooth low-energy will allow manufacturers to develop wireless sensors and the dual-mode head units. It will also mean that we might see a market for dealer-fit sensors. Bluetooth low-energy units can be fitted into the bumper and link around the car without wires, with no need to drill,” she said. “In addition, there is talk about developing on-board diagnostics, using a Bluetooth link for data streaming. This is an interesting prospect for car manufacturers. However, the temperature requirements for this application are a lot higher; accordingly these requirements have to be met before this can be a reality.”
However, “…The journey for Bluetooth in this industry has only just begun. There are still many undiscovered applications and it will be interesting to see how the roadmap for Bluetooth will pan out,” she said.