Real Soon Now for Bluetooth

Short-range Bluetooth supposedly has been on the brink of breakthrough for quite a while, two studies released Wendesday say it now really, really is close to widespread adoption.

A study by Frost & Sullivan says that, while security, interoperability and interference problems still remain, the Bluetooth 1.1 specification is solid enough to make the technology ubiquitous. That ubiquity will be aided by the fact that single-chip Bluetooth solutions have finally started to emerge.

Despite claims by skeptics that Bluetooth was overhyped, its progress has been faster than most widely accepted communications technologies, according to the report author.

“In comparison to many other current communications technologies that took a decade or more to develop, the progress of Bluetooth has been spectacular and continues to develop,” said Frost & Sullivan research analyst Michael Wall. “The landslide of Bluetooth-enabled devices has not happened yet, but is deemed inevitable.”

The study acknowledges that previous forecasts about Bluetooth’s growth, including those made by Frost & Sullivan, were overly optimistic. However, the company still predicts that one billion Bluetooth-enabled devices will ship by 2007.

A second study, this one from ARC Group, makes a similar prediction, claiming that 779.7 million mobile devices will be Bluetooth-enabled by 2006. The study notes that the release of faster third-generation wireless technology will make Bluetooth-enabled phones more attractive because they will be able to act as wireless modems for laptops.

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