RealTime IT News

Bluetooth Group Aims for '5-Minute' Ready

Hoping to give a boost to the market for Bluetooth technologies, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) Tuesday unveiled its "5-Minute Ready" program, which aims to ensure interoperability among Bluetooth devices and make it possible for consumers to rapidly set up devices.

The plan has both manufacturer- and consumer-oriented components.

Designers, developers and manufacturers will get access to a Bluetooth Designer Handbook with information on best practices and recommended methodologies for implementations, reference platforms against which they can test their products, access to an independent testing facility for device operability at the University of Kansas, and a Bluetooth user Lexicon (available in 33 languages) which provides a region-based glossary of terms for performing common Bluetooth functions such as "pairing" and "discoverable.""

The consumer initiatives in the plan center on a redesign of the Bluetooth.com Web site, making consumer education tools the site's primary service. The site will publish consumer use cases, potential product pairs and a searchable consumer product database designed to familiarize users with applications and scenarios for the technology, a consumer Troubleshooting Guide about basic use concepts and tips, and a consumer Glossary.

Both portions of the plan will begin to rollout in first quarter 2003.

"Creating the Bluetooth wireless technology and specification to work effectively across a broad range of product categories and disparate industries has been an ambitious undertaking," said Mike McCamon, executive director of Bluetooth SIG. "Only by committing to work together as a group have we been able to solve the challenges presented by the scale of the task. Our collective efforts are now focusing on enhancing the end-to-end user experience across Bluetooth wireless products. '5-Minute Ready' equips manufacturers and consumers with tools to meet the goal of delivering Bluetooth wireless devices that work together within five minutes of being taken out of the box."

Joyce Putscher, director at market research firm InStat/MDR, added, "With the Bluetooth '5-Minute Ready' program, the SIG has established an excellent path to empower manufacturers to effectively and efficiently tackle the challenge of providing the ultimate consumer out-of-the-box experience that will expand Bluetooth wireless usage. Producing interoperable products that are set-up friendly is ultimately the responsibility of the manufacturers, and this new program will help guide and provide incentives for manufacturers to make the technology even more of a success."