RealTime IT News

Palm Ships Bluetooth Card

Palm Inc. said Tuesday that it has started shipping a Bluetooth card for short-range wireless connections between its handhelds and other Bluetooth-enabled devices.

The postage stamp-sized card fits into the expansion slot of recent Palm handhelds. The handheld can then automatically connect with other nearby Bluetooth-equipped devices.

For instance, the card comes with software that enables Palm users to deploy Bluetooth-enabled, Net-ready wireless phones as wireless modems, to connect to corporate local area networks via Bluetooth access points and to synchronize data with Bluetooth-enabled desktop and laptop computers.

"With the availability of the Palm Bluetooth Card, we kick off a new era in fluid connectivity in a mobile, wireless world," said Palm Solutions Group executive vice president and COO Todd Bradley. "Our vision is to provide the tools to connect Palm handheld users wherever they are, for whatever they need to accomplish in their business and personal lives."

Other applications include the ability to perform text chat with other Palm devices and for as many as eight Palm users to create ad hoc networks for sharing information. In addition, the included software enables use of Palm's address book with a Bluetooth-enabled wireless phone.

The card is available now for $129.

In a separate announcement, Palm and phone vendor Sony Ericsson said they have launched a marketing alliance to encourage carriers to embrace Bluetooth technology.