Friday, November 25, 2005

Bluetooth coming to SA

Blue Demon Day is coming to Cape Town. This is the chance for South African journalists to get hands on with Bluetooth, the wireless technology that is rapidly making mobile applications a reality. Anders Edlund, Marketing Director of Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) and his team will show us journo type people how you can make Bluetooth part of your everyday life.

Blue Demon Days have been successfully held around Europe for the last 2 years, to demonstrate the wide variety of Bluetooth applications that can be used in the office, at home, in the car, for fun, for health - the list goes on. The team will display navigation systems, stereo headsets, hands-free car kits, computer peripherals and many other useful and surprising applications that will soon start appearing on the markets. If you thought your mobile phone was already indispensable, you ain't seen nothing yet.
This is the promise that I was sent yesterday.

Today I got to speak with Bluetooth-spokesperson Danny Devriendt. He says that one of the problems with people that aren't quite in the know, is that they think Bluetooth is just for phones and headsets. This has moved on to a whole variety of products from cameras and printers to cars and MP3 devices.

When the Blue Table, a group of real die-hard Bluetooth fans, were asked how to spread the message of the more advanced Bluetooth technologies, they told the Bluetooth forum to teach the teachers and Danny says that it is working.

In May this year, over five million Bluetooth devices were shipped per month.

But what about the future of the technology? Should you buy a Bluetooth enabled car or is a Bluetooth hi-fi a good move? Danny Devriendt says you should. (But that is his job.)

According to Danny, all the other wireless protocols are fine and dandy but the average consumer doesn't need that kind of speed. Bluetooth technology is just fine for moving a couple of pictures around or sending audio to your rear speakers of your surround sound. In the near future, WiFi and Ultrawide will include Bluetooth technology in their structure but the core technology will still be intact.

As for you, the non-journo type person, when will you be able to get hands on? Not soon, is the short answer. That job falls on the shoulders of the individual suppliers like Nokia, HP and Sony. They include Bluetooth in their devices and must teach you on their own. All Blue Demon Day is for is to teach me more, so that I can explain how the technology in a device works, without sounding like a moron.


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