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Bluetooth Goes Broadband

November 9th, 2004

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) Monday is releasing a three-year roadmap for Bluetooth short-range wireless technology that includes a tripling of bandwidth and the ability to multicast signals to seven other users.

Bluetooth is the de facto short-range wireless standard, with more than 3,000,000 Bluetooth products shipping every week.

The new roadmap, titled Bluetooth 2.0+EDR, increases bandwidth to 3mbps, includes backwards compatibility with existing Bluetooth products and 7-channel multicasting.

Multicasting allows a device to talk to multiple devices simultaneously, which will mean more seamless group-oriented integration for product groups such as mobile gaming and even home electronics. Several vendors are planning on releasing “control” appliances which could soon do things like coordinate the data in your kitchen, instead of having separate data for your fridge, your stove, etc.

In addition, it will allow for greater flexibility in home and mobile entertainment, allowing devices to cross-sync each other through applications such as BitTorrent.

While many Bluetooth applications focus on the consumer market, Foley said the 2005 core update would help improve Bluetooth-enabled sensor devices used in manufacturing settings.

Michael Foley, technical director of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), noted that the core update would be particularly useful in manufacturing environments to broadcast instructions to multiple pieces of control machinery.

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