Philips to Bridge Bluetooth to WLANs

Swedish company Possio , makers of technologies for bridging different types of network connections, has announced a licensing agreement with Royal Philips Electronics , the global name for the Amsterdam, The Netherlands based electronics giant usually just called Philips. Together they’ll create new bridging solutions for Bluetooth to 802.11 connections for original equipment manufacturers to use in home electronics products.

According to Erik Lagersten, Communications Director at Possio, “The partnership is for the PX20 platform Possio developed, an advance access gateway for getting on the Internet with PDA, laptop or whatever, over Bluetooth.”

Possio launched the PX20 at Comdex 2001 in November last year. It’s a battery operated device that lets Bluetooth-enabled items connect to the wireless LAN based on 802.11b, such as in hotspots. The Philips deal to use the gateway technology of the PX200 will enable more Bluetooth items in the home to get online or send data via the WLAN, “from stereos, to speakers” and more, according to Lagersten.

The PX20 platform is an Open Service gateway Initiative (OSGi) compliant Java applications server that can manage traffic and act as a Web server. It is completely wireless on both ends itself — it does not have to be wired via Ethernet to the actual network. Initial configuration of the PX20 for the Wi-Fi network is actually made over the Bluetooth connection.

“I think that we’ll see Philips products within two or three months” using the Possio technology, says Lagersten. Getting ramped up won’t take Philips long: “They’re good at producing products in mass volumes.”

Lagersten says products will likely be available worldwide, and will certainly ship in Europe, Asia, and the United States.

Eric Griffith is the managing editor of 802.11 Planet.

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