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Bluetooth Memory Stick Gets SIG Approval

Long-time readers will remember that Sony talked about a Bluetooth card that used the Memory Stick slot almost a year ago. Despite plans to release the Infostick in June of last year, it has yet to see the light of day. That may soon change as the company recently received notice from the Bluetooth SIG that a product called the PEGA-MSB1 is Bluetooth 1.1 qualified.

Infostick protoype Bluetooth qualification is a necessary precondition of the intellectual property license for Bluetooth wireless technology.  Qualification is also necessary to apply a Bluetooth trademark to a product. Sony received it for this adapter on February 28.

Though almost no details were given, a great deal can be learned from just the product name. Only the peripherals for the Clié line begin with "PEGA". In addition, only Clié peripherals that use the Memory Stick slot begin with "PEGA-MS". For example, PEGA-MSC1 almost certainly stands for Memory Stick Camera One. Following that logic, PEGA-MSB1 means this will be Memory Stick Bluetooth adapter One.

Of course, there is no hint of when Sony will officially announce this adapter, though it has a press conference scheduled for Monday to talk about a new handheld and CeBIT, the world's largest trade show, begins Tuesday. Either one would be an excellent opportunity.

There is also no suggestion of a price. The Palm Bluetooth SD card has recently gone into limited sale for $130 and is expected to be widely available by the end of this month. The PEGA-MSB1 will probably be competitively priced.

Thanks to Dan Royea for the tip. -Ed

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InfoStick

Beavis @ 3/9/2002 12:58:11 PM #
Let's hope that it has some built in memory so that it can be used for storage as well as communications.

RE: InfoStick
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/9/2002 2:19:41 PM #
It sure would be nice if it had built in memory, but most of the apps I have on my memory stick wouldn't take advantage of Bluetooth anyways. My e-mail, Avantgo, etc are all in RAM anyways.

RE: InfoStick
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/9/2002 2:22:57 PM #
Hmm. I just bought a M515 last night because
it can have BT card.

I have wanted T615. I am not sure if I should return
the M515.

RE: InfoStick
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/9/2002 2:57:45 PM #
I would. I think it's definitely looking like Sony will release the Infostick almost immediately.

Of course, I could just be insanely optimistic about Sony. Who in their right mind would really believe that Sony does anything predictable?

Besides, if you sing in french while hopping on one foot, the evil birds won't come out of your bathroom mirror.

RE: InfoStick
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/9/2002 3:10:29 PM #
"Besides, if you sing in french while hopping on one foot, the evil birds won't come out of your bathroom mirror."

I tried that in English , the evil bird also didn't come out of my bathroom mirror .. :P

Gotta wait and see, probably Sony will do the announcement on Monyday.

RE: InfoStick
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/9/2002 8:50:19 PM #
This is so typical of Sony. When it comes to innovation, they talk a good game but they don't deliver. It has been over a year since they announced this and what do we have now? ... Just another announcement.



RE: InfoStick
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/9/2002 10:15:23 PM #
You dont read very well do you?

The infostick was only approved recently. Although they were probably ready to release months ago they had to wait for approval.

RE: InfoStick
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/10/2002 4:25:47 AM #
"palm should put something like this in the next device, so that people can hold some data with them while they travel around, but it would be expensive"

That's the whole purpose of palm, the carry data while traveling. Now you want to add another thing so you can hold even more data while traveling ?? O well ..

Anyways I think you posted on the wrong place, the post kinda doesnt make sense while we are talking about bluetooth.

RE: InfoStick
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/10/2002 10:29:11 PM #
It would be nice if the InfoStick has memory inside. But I think it would be far better if the soon-to-be-released Clie has dual Memory Stick slots so that we may have memory and IO device like Bluetooth and Camera...

The pdf mentions Palm

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/9/2002 2:30:19 PM #
If you look at the pdf file,
In the annex section, prequalified components include a bluetooth stack (Palm Inc) which is basically an add-on for Palm OS 4.0

RE: The pdf mentions Palm
mtg101 @ 3/10/2002 10:49:19 AM #
Erm... well... yeah. This is the stack used in the SDIO BT card that Palm is currently selling.

---
russ@russb.fsnet.co.uk
RE: The pdf mentions Palm
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/10/2002 10:31:00 PM #
This means from application point of view, the InfoStick will be compatible with Palm's SDIO Bluetooth adaptor. It is great as the current Bluetooth adapter for Clie use different programming interface with Palm's.

AT&T Wireless

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/9/2002 2:50:46 PM #
I'm with AT&T Wireless in the US which I think is the nation's largest wireless provider. Where the heck is my AT&T/Nokia 82xx with built-in Bluetooth?

RE: AT&T Wireless
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/9/2002 3:10:46 PM #
The New thing coming is the Nokia 6360 :(

RE: AT&T Wireless
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/9/2002 3:41:06 PM #
bluetooth wont be coming until they finalize their gsm network which is speculated to be by the end of this year. the 8390 looks promising.

RE: AT&T Wireless
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/9/2002 6:25:21 PM #
ericsson has the best blueT gsm phones, t39, t68 are good and proven.

RE: AT&T Wireless
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/9/2002 9:00:15 PM #
OK then....if I bought the Sony BT stick what service provider in the US sells a BT phone that I can use this with?

RE: AT&T Wireless
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/10/2002 10:07:39 PM #
A nit: I think Verizon (not AT&T) is the largest wireless provider in the US in terms of both subscribers and number of towers.

Anyway, you can use the Moto 270c with Verizon. But this is very pricey -- I think the BT kit for the 270c itself is like $200.

Things that make you go hummmm

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/9/2002 7:15:24 PM #
Bluetooth has been a long time coming. Personally, I wish it wsa already available. That said, I have a hard time jumping in and purchasing a Bluetooth adapter for any device at this time. Why ? Well, there is today nothing that takes adavantage of it, nor have I seen any plans for any such devices. Sure, you can communicate w/ another Bluetooth enabled device, but they are currently few and far between. Maybe in a year or two there will be good use for Bluetooth. Some things that come to mind are: Getting a map of a mall or amusement park when you walk in, some type of station at a coffee shop to read information, etc. Once this comes available, I wil be more than happy to get Bluetooth.

RE: Things that make you go hummmm
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/10/2002 8:17:01 AM #
Not sure why so many people are so Bluetooth negative.

Bluetooth is not an 802.11b replacement, and it will some time before I give up my wifi card. However I am finding Bluetooth really useful.


My phone (which has Bluetooth built in) talks to the Palm (using the TDK unit) the laptop (MC bluetooth PCMCIA card) and the Headset with no problems. In fact none of the devices have a problem talking to each other.

Finding a number in the address book and in 2 taps have the phone dial the person and connect to the headset is great.

Having a wireless headset for Viavoice is also useful, and is hotsyncing upto 40 feet from your desk.

When more people start to use BT and see how useful it can be - having the benifits of all the devices around you in a PAN - then maybe more useful ideas will surface.

Anyone want to swap their T68 for a T39?

RE: Things that make you go hummmm
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/10/2002 9:53:00 AM #
I'm really looking into getting a T39 when it becomes available, and getting my hands on an infostick for my clie.

Is the bluetooth link between your palm and phone that useful? With my current phone, using IR is an absolute pain in the ass if I want to dial a number... I have to press just as many buttons just to activate the IR in my phone. Is Bluetooth always on on the devices?

Ideally, I'd like to have my cell phone in my bag or suitcase, and just decide to start reading e-mail on my Palm, and never have to even touch my phone once to activate Bluetooth or anything like that.

Is that possible?

Howabout the other way around? If I have my phone in my hand, and want to grab a phone number in my palm?


RE: Things that make you go hummmm
mtg101 @ 3/10/2002 10:35:35 AM #
Bluetooth is always on on the phone. So yes, you can just get your palm out and start surfing without having to go to the phone and set anything up.

You do, however have to do some setup just once. Obviously you don't want anyone to be able to connect to your phone and start surfing on your phone bill, or tryig to connect to your palm without your permission! So, you have to 'pair' the 2 bluetooth devices with each other so they know they're allowed to use each others services. Once this is done once, you don't have to do it again.

As for grabbing a phone number from the Palm - I don't think so. Unless the phone has software to allow it to pull contacts from a Palm and the Palm has software to grab it - it's not something bluetooth itself offers. Doubtless in the future phones and palms will get applications like this - but I don't know of any releasd yet.

However - what you can do is synchronize your contacts from your Palm with your phone - there's lots of software out there to do this (but I dunno if any use BT yet). For example, I use GSMtool over IR to sync my contacts between my palm and phone.


---
russ@russb.fsnet.co.uk

RE: Things that make you go hummmm
big_raji @ 3/10/2002 1:42:08 PM #
Thanks for the info Russ!

I'm definitely waiting for Bluetooth anxiously... My only dilemna now is my choice of Bluetooth phone. Cost is probably going to start to be a factor pretty soon, the way I'm blowing money on tech toys. :)

I proud of my CLIÉ, but I'm too embarassed to pronounce it like anything but "KLEE"

RE: Things that make you go hummmm
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/11/2002 3:58:34 AM #
If anyone is thinking of getting a bluetooth enabled phone that you can use in the US NOW.. I would highly recommend either Ericsson's T68 or T39. Both are GSM based, so you can use it with either Cingular or Voicestream. But then non of these provider sells these two phones directly. So you'll have to buy online. Once you get the phone, you can just pop in the SIM card that's in your current phone and you are ready to go!

RE: Things that make you go hummmm
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/11/2002 8:00:25 PM #
FYI, some Cingular stores in the Bay Area have the T39 for $69!! (with the $39/month plan) DOH! Much less than the $300 I paid last year.

I have the GSM data service from Cingular. While very slow (9.6kbps), it is still very very useful when I'm on the road with only my 505 (got the SD card already - its at Fry's). And also very useful when I have my PC (got the 3Com bt usb dongle) when at the airport.


March 4, 2002 (TOKYO) -- Bluetooth Communication Technology

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/9/2002 7:47:56 PM #
PEGA-MSB1 HCCBTHA11 Sony Corporation Accessory PROD 2002-02-28:

Qualified Product Notice:

1.Reference to Bluetooth Specification
2.Pre-Qualified Components
-B00497 *Infostick (Sony Corporation) 2002-01-30
-B00352 *Bluetooth Stack (Palm, Inc) 2001-09-04
3.Revision History

First open
http://qualweb.opengroup.org/Template2.cfm?LinkQualified=QualifiedProducts&Details=Yes&ProductID=624

Then open 12600320-QPLN-rev_0.0.pdf 'Qualified Product Notice'

*Infostick Sony Corporation Components Comp-HW-Integrated 2002-01-30 :
Small Bluetooth module containing RF, Baseband and Link Manager
http://qualweb.opengroup.org/Template2.cfm?LinkQualified=QualifiedProducts&Details=Yes&ProductID=603

*Bluetooth stack for Palm OS Palm, Inc; Bluetooth stack add-on for Palm OS 4.0
http://qualweb.opengroup.org/Template2.cfm?LinkQualified=QualifiedProducts&Details=Yes&ProductID=455

Sony Bluetooth stick soon here?
http://www.palminfocenter.com/view_Story.asp?ID=3101&MODE=FLAT#40229 (posted awhile ago)

March 4, 2002 (TOKYO) -- Bluetooth Communication Technology Rises Again
http://www.nikkeibp.asiabiztech.com/wcs/leaf?CID=onair/asabt/fw/172746



Waste of Time
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/10/2002 10:13:53 AM #
Do you READ the articles you attach these comments to? I don't think you do. You pre-write a comment and post it on every message board you can find, whether it is appropriate or not. THIS IS AN ARTICLE THAT SAYS THE EXACT SAME THING YOUR COMMENT DOES!!!!!!! The purpose of comments is to add something NEW to the mix. What you've done is just a stupid waste of bandwidth.

Though I don't know why I'm bothering. You won't read this. You won't be back until you've found another bunch of Bluetooth links and are posting them on every site you can find.

If you are going to continue this Bluetooth obsession, START A BLUETOOTH PAGE!! If people care, they will read it.

RE: March 4, 2002 (TOKYO) -- Bluetooth Communication Technology
atrizzah @ 3/10/2002 11:19:39 AM #
Relax dude, it doesnt really hurt anybody that he posts those links up there, if you don't like them just ignore them.

Peace Out
Alan
RE: March 4, 2002 (TOKYO) -- Bluetooth Communication Technology
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/11/2002 3:35:17 AM #
That's your 'opinion'.

MAYBE BECAUSE THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO DON'T KNOW THAT MUCH ABOUT BLUETOOTH (a lot of people still think that 802.11 and bluetooth are competing and don't know the differences) AND APPRECIATE THE INFO (Are you talking for them?).

Post it on every message board? Oh, is that so? Are you stalking me or what? lol. Since when is posting informative info forbidden?.

So posting the following article is "....AN ARTICLE THAT SAYS THE EXACT SAME THING YOUR COMMENT DOES" ???????? Oh? Is that so?
March 4, 2002 (TOKYO) -- Bluetooth Communication Technology Rises Again
http://www.nikkeibp.asiabiztech.com/wcs/leaf?CID=onair/asabt/fw/172746

People who state things like 'stupid' are not interesting to me.

Like the other poster says "what's it to you"...if you don't want to read the message skip it. Is that 2 difficult for ya?

"to add something NEW to the mix." You surely did.....very informative. Posting related info to an article or message isn't that bad won't you think?

"Do you READ the articles you attach these comments to? I don't think you do." That's YOUR problem....you are THINKING 'FOR' me. Don't do that. I read EVERY article i post and i post it when it is interesting.

May you should START A "AM EASY P-OFF" page?

There are other REAL PROBLEMS in the world to be p-off about.

The thread below shows the real WIRELESS interest.

ciao

RE: March 4, 2002 (TOKYO) -- Bluetooth Communication Technology
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/11/2002 5:19:24 AM #
exactly. i enjoyed his info links. keep it up

RE: March 4, 2002 (TOKYO) -- Bluetooth Communication Technology
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/11/2002 5:23:34 AM #
Ditto. Very cool links.

Get lost mister p-off.

Coolio

I would be more interested in 802.11b (WiFi) Memory Stick

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/9/2002 10:12:44 PM #
I would be more interested in 802.11b (WiFi) Memory Stick. There is a lot more I can do with this now with a 802.11B network at home and office. Bluetooth just hasn't done anything impressive for me...yet.


RE: I would be more interested in 802.11b (WiFi) Memory Stick
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/9/2002 10:57:17 PM #
That's because Bluetooth is still a young technology (although they have overhyped it sad enough).

Palm Bluetooth whitepaper (PDF, 881kb)
http://www.palmos.com/dev/tech/bluetooth/palm_bluetooth_mwp_r1.pdf

Bluetooth can perform a number of automatic functions:

• A PC and Palm can be set up so that when they are in proximity, an auto-sync takes place. So instead of putting the Palm in the cradle and hitting the HotSync button, just walk within a few feet of the PC and the two will automatically synchronize.

• One Bluetooth-enabled phone can do three tasks. At home, the phone functions as a portable phone, using a landline. When the user is on the move, it functions as a mobile phone, and when the phone comes within range of another Bluetooth mobile phone, it functions as a walkie-talkie.

• A user can compose e-mail on a Bluetooth-enabled laptop while flying on an airplane and queue up the e-mails to be sent. In her briefcase is a Bluetooth-enabled cell phone, switched off. After she lands, she switches on the cell phone, which connects to the Internet and transmits the mail while she waits for her luggage.

• A field rep has a sales meeting noted in her PalmPilot, and the meeting time changes. Someone calls the rep's cell phone, transmits the new data and the phone routes the new information to the PalmPilot, which beeps to let her know her schedule has changed.

• Products and accounts can be assigned a scanning code. With a swipe of a mobile phone, a sales rep can transmit on-hand inventory status and order information back to the main office.

Slip a Palm Bluetooth™ Card into the Palm™ expansion slot, and you can begin enjoying the advantages of Bluetooth wireless communications. Your can send and receive SMS and e-mail messages - and browse Web content - on your Palm™ handheld via a Bluetooth enabled mobile phone in your pocket or briefcase. You can also synchronise to a Bluetooth-enabled laptop computer or print to a Bluetooth-enabled printer. Finally, Bluetooth network access points let you stay connected with your corporate network from anywhere in the building. You can even collaborate with remote colleagues using chat and virtual whiteboards.

Little Bluetooth Review:

-No battery-sapping: Low power
-Robust wireless connection method with a small footprint that makes it very well suited for millions of handheld devices
(A Bluetooth chip, designed to communicate in the 10m range, consumes only 1mW of power, compared to an 802.11b chip, which consumes more than 1W. A single Bluetooth chipset is also fairly small, with a size of 8x8mm, compared to the smallest 802.11b at 30x14mm.)
-Chips will be cheap (volume)
-Bluetooth does not need a base radio station because every device can create a local network.
-Another advantage of Bluetooth as a cable replacement technology are the applications (*e.g http://www.bluetags.com ). Retail kiosks, pay phones, and other public access points will support proximity services.
-Bluetooth also holds an advantage concerning voice communication. Here, Bluetooth can be used in a cordless phone within a 10m range, in an office environment or home, without the need for handoffs. Other WLAN technologies need voice-over-IP to support voice communication

ciao

RE: I would be more interested in 802.11b (WiFi) Memory Stick
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/10/2002 12:02:05 AM #
Hey...nice review of the merits of BT vs. WiFi. I appreciate it. Good stuff.

Jim

RE: I would be more interested in 802.11b (WiFi) Memory Stick
mstur @ 3/10/2002 4:19:42 AM #
I agree with you 100%.

I have a 802.11b network at home and find that now many public places offer also free 802.11b access. I have several Macs and Powerbooks equiped with Airport, and enjoy high-speed internet access at every room in our house.

Last week I bought the new Palm m130 and a Bluetooth card, which I connected to my Bluetooth enabled Ericsson T39, which uses a fast GPRS connection to my phone company.

Good news: It works, but sloooowllyyyy.
Better news: It does not affect my Airport setup :-)

Bluetooth is just a replacement for IrDA, but not for 802.11b !! Its range is only a fraction of my Airport setup. Of course it is nice to have your e-mail on your palm, but surfing the net needs a much faster net access, which cannot be provided by BT on its own, you still need a mobile phone, and just dream of broadband access using your mobile ;-)

WiFi is here, ready and working. I small WiFi-Card for my Palm would let me use it at many places and enjoy the great Blazer 2.0 browser much more than now. I really hope we see such SD cards soon...

RE: I would be more interested in 802.11b (WiFi) Memory Stick
mtg101 @ 3/10/2002 9:48:26 AM #
The chances of seeing 802.11b SDIO or BT cards is very low, IMHO. The problem is that 802.11b cards are much bigger and consume much more power than BT. An 802.11b SDIO / BT card would have to have a large protruding section to house the larger circuitry and probably an additional power supply.

Compare this to a BT card which, in the case of the InfoStick, fits completely inside the device and requires no additional power supply.



---
russ@russb.fsnet.co.uk

RE: 802.11b (WiFi) Memory Stick or SD Card
Ed @ 3/10/2002 10:39:24 AM #
I agree that it will be a long time before anyone can pack a full-strength 802.11 adapter into an SD or Memory Stick. Or make a handheld that could power one for a reasonable amount of time. However, would it be possible for someone to make an 802.11 adapter that is short-range and low-speed and therefore small and low-power but still use the 802.11 standard? I believe there would still be a market for an 802.11 adapter that has only a 30 foot range and 1 Mbps transfer speed because there are people who already want to use Bluetooth adapters, with the same specs, for wireless networking.

I know, someone will say "Why not just use Bluetooth?" Because there are already offices, campuses, coffee shops, airports, etc with 802.11 networks up and running. Users would have to sit close to the access ports but that isn't an unbearable hassle. Also, Bluetooth wasn't really designed for full networking. It can be used for it but it lacks some features that 802.11 has.

I don't know if this is practical; I just wanted to throw the idea out there.

---
News Editor

RE: I would be more interested in 802.11b (WiFi) Memory Stick
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/10/2002 2:40:11 PM #
Of course theres always the Xircom WiFi module for m500 series palms.


RE: I would be more interested in 802.11b (WiFi) Memory Stick
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/10/2002 4:58:12 PM #
> would it be possible for someone to make an 802.11 adapter
> that is short-range and low-speed and therefore small and
> low-power but still use the 802.11 standard?

I think there are 802.11 specifications in the works for lower power devices. My understanding though is that it is probably not possible to make much lower-powered 802.11b devices that fit the standard. *note: 802.11 vs. 802.11b

RE: I would be more interested in 802.11b (WiFi) Memory Stick
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/10/2002 9:40:28 PM #
-------------------------------------------
However, would it be possible for someone to make an 802.11 adapter that is short-range and low-speed and therefore small and low-power but still use the 802.11 standard? I believe there would still be a market for an 802.11 adapter that has only a 30 foot range and 1 Mbps transfer speed because there are people who already want to use Bluetooth adapters, with the same specs, for wireless networking.

I know, someone will say "Why not just use Bluetooth?" Because there are already offices, campuses, coffee shops, airports, etc with 802.11 networks up and running. Users would have to sit close to the access ports but that isn't an unbearable hassle. Also, Bluetooth wasn't really designed for full networking. It can be used for it but it lacks some features that 802.11 has.

I don't know if this is practical; I just wanted to throw the idea out there.

-------------------------------------------------


Ed,

I am currently designing chipsets for 802.11.

The quick answer is, unfortunately, a NO. The 802.11b spec has three types -- Direct Sequence (1/2/5.5/11Mbps), Frequency Hopping (1/2Mbps) and IrDa. The Frequency Hopping one is very similar to what Bluetooth is using and has the advantage of being low power and low cost while the speed is slow. The Direct Sequence one can be much faster but needs more power. The current one used worldwide is the Direct Sequence which is not compatible with Frequency Hopping one. The Frequency Hopping one is an almost obsolete technology and most of the people are using Direct Sequence (my old WLAN card was Frequency Hopping)


Even you want a Frequency Hopping WLAN, the problem is that 802.11 was designed for use in more severe environments, the requirement for 802.11 is higher than Bluetooth which was designed for low cost and operate in a much less severe enviroment (such like short range). So the cost and power consumption will be still higher than Bluetooth.

Therefore the reasons for using Bluetooth but not Frequency Hopping 802.11b WLAN are that it won't be conpatible with the currently widely deployed 802.11b network and the cost and power consumption will be still higher than Bluetooth.



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