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Bluetooth Memory Stick Coming from Sony

Almost lost in the furor over its new handhelds, Sony also announced the PEGA-MSB1 Bluetooth Memory Stick adapter today. This will allow Sony's handhelds to wirelessly connect to Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones to check email and even surf the Web. It can also connect to other peripherals like printers as long as they use Bluetooth as well. The MSB1 will be available in Japan on March 23. A price hasn't been released yet. It is not yet known when it will be available in other countries.

Long-time readers will remember that Sony talked about a Bluetooth card that used the Memory Stick slot almost a year ago. It was originally planned to be released in June of last year. No explanation for the delay was given. Sony has apparently dropped the original name, Infostick.

About Bluetooth
Bluetooth is a low-powered, short-range wireless network technology best suited for mobile devices, as they may not have enough power to support 802.11b signals. It creates a Personal Area Network (PAN) by directly connecting two devices together within a range of approximately 10 to 100 meters depending on power levels. It is also being used as a networking option for mobile devices.

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Sweet...

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/11/2002 3:11:55 PM #
I've been waiting over a year for a bluetooth card for a device - bought a Clie T615 at Palmsouce since I knew this baby was coming - have bluetooth for my laptop, can't wait...

Not so sweet (for N610c's)
jjsoh @ 3/11/2002 3:14:34 PM #
Of course, all those N610c owners who just missed the mark by tenth of an upgrade (Palm OS 4.0) will be missing out on the opportunity to use bluetooth.

Even N710c owners have the chance to upgrade their OS to 4.1, why not N610c owners? Any word on whether or not Sony will ever be releasing an upgrade option for this model?

This is sad considering how much Palm vocally denied any significant differences between OS 4.0 and 4.1. Does anyone know the specs on the SD bluetooth and how it might affect Palm OS 4.0 and 4.1? Or am I missing something here?

RE: Sweet...
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/11/2002 3:23:38 PM #
I wish sony would say when it will be available
in US.

And interesting enough, Fry's here run out of
BlueTooth SD now. So my m515 won't get
a BT card anyway for a while. Tough decision
to make if I should return my m515.

RE: Sweet...
jjsoh @ 3/11/2002 3:30:19 PM #
Sorry to confuse you all, but the whole slashdot effect today has thrown me off. Anyway, I guess I just missed the first post stating that bluetooth does in fact support OS 4.0. Makes me wish I could take back my post.

Can it be verified if OS 4.0 supports bluetooth and not only 4.1, Ed? Thanks.


Jim

RE: Sweet...
Xian @ 3/11/2002 3:36:58 PM #
My m505 uses the Palm SDIO BT card just fine with OS 4.0. Should be the same for the Sony BT MS since they are using the Palm BT stack.

RE: Sweet...
Ed @ 3/11/2002 4:16:31 PM #
> Can it be verified if OS 4.0 supports bluetooth and not only 4.1, Ed? Thanks.

I think I was mistaken about the 4.1 requirement. See my comment above.

---
News Editor

RE: Sweet...
jjsoh @ 3/11/2002 5:55:19 PM #
Thanks guys for the info. ^_^

I'm looking forward to plopping in an SD BT card when it comes out here in the states. It would be nice to get rid of all these cables.

RE: Sweet...
aps_27 @ 11/1/2003 9:42:50 PM #
hi, i'd like to ask if the bt card is compatible with my palm zire 71c. thanks

OS 4.1???

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/11/2002 3:07:37 PM #
The japanese site (http://www.sony.co.jp/sd/products/Consumer/PEG/Acc/PEGA-MSB1/index.html) does not explicitly say that the Bluetooth MemoryStick only supports OS 4.1. It is indicated that the following units are supported: PEG-NR70V ENR70 ET600C ET400 EN750C EN600C EN700C* - *: However compatibility for the N700C (~N710C) is only given if upgraded from OS 3.5 to OS 4.1!

Since the N600C (as well as my N610C) runs under 4.0S (http://www.sony.co.jp/sd/products/Consumer/PEG/PEG-N600C/) it should work with this version as well.

RE: OS 4.1???
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/11/2002 3:21:03 PM #
I think BlueTooth requires OS 4.0 to use.


RE: OS 4.1???
Ed @ 3/11/2002 4:12:06 PM #
I've just realized that the fact that the S series isn't listed on this site doesn't mean it isn't compatible. The S series isn't available in Japan at all so it isn't going to appear on this Japanese page no matter what. We'll have to wait and see when the U.S. announcement comes.

In any case, I think I was mistaken when I said OS 4.1 was required. As someone correctly pointed out, the N600C uses OS 4.0 and it is listed as being compatible. I've edited the article and sorry for any inconvenience..

---
News Editor

RE: OS 4.1???
rldunn @ 3/11/2002 4:29:30 PM #
The S300 had a Japanese version and the S500, the first color Clie, was ONLY available in Japan. Of course, they're not available now, but just wanted to clarify.

Is Bluetooth overrated?

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/11/2002 3:22:56 PM #
I don't know much about Bluetooth, but it seems like with so little support for it now it isn't really much to get excited about.

What I would like to be able to do with a PDA is get on the net and use ICQ or a web browser from anywhere..i.e. in the mall, in the park, coffee shop. But since Bluetooth has such a short range, it looks like this will not be possible.

Rather than Bluetooth, I think they ideal method of connectivity is always-on internet access, something like the i705 or Blackberry but with much higher bandwidth and not as restrictive as to what internet applications you can use on the PDA (and of course cooler looking, like the new Sony).

I think Bluetooth would be good for connecting to your home network from your PDA, but then again if you were at home why not just put the PDA down and walk the 10 feet to your computer. That's what I would do.

RE: Is Bluetooth overrated?
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/11/2002 3:38:27 PM #
you do not understand bluetooth. Bluetoth is not about connecting to the net. It's about being able to replace cables and wires and other crap, and do it all wirelessly.

So if you have a PDA with Bluetooth, and a Phone with Bluetooth, and a Laptop/desktop computer with Bluetooth. THey will all communicate without you doing anything.

For what you want you would need a cell phone with bluetooth. THen whenever you want to be online you would just pull out your PDA and hit a connect button. It would send a signel to your phone and connect without you touching your phone. Then you would have your internet connection.

This is personally what I want. I have not been impressed by and PDA/Phone combo, the i705 is interesting, and closer to what i want. But i would have to also ahve my cell phone.

There is much more possable with bluetooth, but that I think is what you would be the most interested in.

RE: Is Bluetooth overrated?
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/11/2002 4:07:38 PM #
darn, if you don't know whats Bluetooth, please don't make comments.
sheez!!

RE: Is Bluetooth overrated?
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/11/2002 4:35:24 PM #
Im a couch potato. I would surf the web lying on my bed connected to my PC-DSL via Bluetooth. I could also sync and update records, I could use a cell phone, throwing away all damn cables! There are also hands-free for use with the cell phones that take advantage of Bluetooth: no wires... :-), etc., etc...

RE: Is Bluetooth overrated?
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/11/2002 7:50:09 PM #
Well, the RANGE issue is the most misunderstood part about Bluetooth. This BT memory stick is most likely a "low" power device which puts its range from 'stick to 'stick at 10m. When talking to a high power device, like some Bluetooth LAN Access Points, the range is 100m. Yes - 100m. I saw this demo'd at PalmSource. There was a company there called Piconet Inc or Pico.net (or something like that) that had this kind of product. So, your model of using your Clie at Starbucks, surfing the web, IS possible.

RE: Is Bluetooth overrated?
rigter @ 3/12/2002 4:31:24 AM #
Please do make comments if you're not exactly sure what bluetooth is.
We're all here to share info and learn, not to show off knowledge.

Cheers,
Jan

/*
One thing a computer can do that most humans can't is be sealed up in a cardboard box and sit in a warehouse.
*/

RE: Is Bluetooth overrated?
I.M. Anonymous @ 4/30/2002 3:10:09 PM #
I have a pico bluetooth internet access point, palm m515, and toshiba/palm bluetooth sd card.

I can connect to our corporate LAN through walls and get approx 100-125 ft range (radius) from the access point.

I have used eduora web and blazer to surf the net. Overall, the experience has been very good. It is a bit faster than the omnisky modems with WAN service.

I found it to be approx. 30-40% slower than my Toshiba Genio with Socket 802.11b CF card and our 802.11b network.

I wonder if the throughput is more a function of processor on PDAs than on the actual wireless network (at least at current data transfer needs).

Next up will be to test the iPaq with built-in bluetooth on our corporate network via Picoblue.

The above said, I will probably end up carrying Palm OS with bluetooth to access our LAN because of my preference of Palm OS, very slim form factor,and low energy requirements of bt.

FYI

list of bluetooth-compatible phones?

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/11/2002 3:28:22 PM #
Anyone know where I can find a list of bluetooth-compatible phones for use here in the U.S.?

Thx

RE: list of bluetooth-compatible phones?
Xian @ 3/11/2002 3:38:19 PM #
They aren't available from any carriers that I know of, so you'd have to buy it separately. The Ericsson T39 and T68 phones are BT compatible. And you can actually get a BT add on for the Ericsson T28 World phone as well.

RE: list of bluetooth-compatible phones?
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/11/2002 3:59:52 PM #
I know Verizon Wireless has the Timeport 270C which has a bluetooth option. I just ordered mine for my phone. Also has the bluetooth headset packaged with it. Should be neat when I get the BT stick for my 615C.

RE: list of bluetooth-compatible phones?
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/11/2002 4:01:29 PM #
the Ericsson T68 is available from ATT wireless

RE: list of bluetooth-compatible phones?
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/12/2002 12:35:48 AM #
T68 is GSM. ATT only offer GSM service on some states

RE: list of bluetooth-compatible phones?
rigter @ 3/12/2002 4:48:37 AM #
Surf to http://www.nokia.com/bluetooth for a list of nokia models.

Cheers,
Jan

/*
One thing a computer can do that most humans can't is be sealed up in a cardboard box and sit in a warehouse.
*/

RE: list of bluetooth-compatible phones?
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/17/2002 6:46:44 PM #
You could use the Ericsson T68, T39 and then you can use any GSM provider in the US... The biggest GSM provider a year ago was Voicestream, but Verizon's network could have grown since then... Also, the T68i was just announced as well as a new Sony model... All of these phones support Bluetooth.

Any 1900Mhz GSM phone (most tri-band GSM models support this frequency) will work with any US GSM provider. Take a look at http://www.expansys.com for a lot of GSM and bluetooth gear...

Happy Bluetoothing...

bad timing for Sony to end their 710 upgrade program

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/11/2002 3:27:16 PM #
There's another article on this site about that, but Sony's program to upgrade the 710 to OS 4.x ends within the next few days.

RE: bad timing for Sony to end their 710 upgrade program
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/11/2002 4:18:10 PM #
Sony stopped selling the N710C months and months ago. They can't have techs sitting around and waiting for all the slow-pokes to finally get around to upgrading.

RE: bad timing for Sony to end their 710 upgrade program
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/12/2002 4:06:13 AM #
Yeah, and Palm is providing OS 4.1 for devices many years old. The point was now that there is a very good reason to upgrade (this card), the upgrade is going away. Most people probably didn't even know the upgrade was available in the first place.

Bluetooth Speed

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/11/2002 3:58:25 PM #
How fast will the average speed be? For instance, ill a sync via BT be the same or faster vs. Serial Cable. And vs. USB cradle?

I read somewhere that someone was using BT with his 505 to surf the web and it was slow as schitt.

RE: Bluetooth Speed
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/11/2002 4:02:17 PM #
Just to get an idea how slow schitt is, how fast does schitt move?

How fast schitt is
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/11/2002 4:07:10 PM #
'pends on how much ya ate fer dinner, and how far away the outhouse is.

RE: Bluetooth Speed
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/11/2002 4:31:59 PM #
RE: Bluetooth Speed
bcombee @ 3/11/2002 4:36:50 PM #
Bluetooth speeds aren't fast. The theoretical maximum is about 1MB/s, but actual BT transfers at PalmSource were going in the 200-300KBps range. In using Cambio with BT enabled Palm m505's, it seemed like it was faster than IR with less latency, but its not going to beat USB sync speeds. It may be competitive with serial sync speeds, depending on the noise in your radio environment.

CodeWarrior for Palm OS technical lead
RE: Bluetooth Speed
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/11/2002 6:26:49 PM #
I have HotSynced my 770C with the PEGA-BT700 and a PC with a Bluetooth card.

It was much slower than USB and slower than serial. I dont recall the exact figures but about twice as long to HotSync than with a serial cable.

I am guessing the extra time is for the bluetooth coding. If the processor were higher than 33 Mhz of course it would be faster and eventually reach the bluetooth transfer rate limit. I believe I read something in the specs for the PEGA-BT700 about its (theoretical) max speed being around 40 kB/s.

The PEGA-BT700 is connected thru the "serial port". I dont know if it is faster/slower than the Memory Stick port. My guess would be that MS is slower though (?)

RE: Bluetooth Speed
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/11/2002 7:54:37 PM #
Lets look at the other options you have for surfing the web:
1. CDPD modem (19.6kbps?)
2. Wifi sled from Xircom (30kbps - yes it is - I have one)
3. Wireline modem (20-30kbps? I've been told it is this slow despite the 56k)
4. Bluetooth SD card connected to GPRS phone or Bluetooth Access Point (40kbps)

Take your pick. Do you really need any more than 20kbps on a Palm?

RE: Bluetooth Speed
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/12/2002 4:04:20 AM #
> The PEGA-BT700 is connected thru the "serial port".

If it is connected through the serial port, it is no wonder you are getting slower than serial speeds. The Memory Stick slot has a considerably faster data rate.

RE: Palm's SDIO
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/11/2002 4:54:04 PM #
That's great but what do I connect it with here in the US? Another Palm and play Tic Tac Toe??

RE: Palm's SDIO
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/11/2002 4:56:26 PM #
3Com and others have been selling Bluetooth PC Cards for months, so you can sync with your PC, there are several Bluetooth enabled cell phones for sale now and more coming, so you can go on the internet, dial a cell phone call from your palm or send a short message (SMS).

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