Palm Bluetooth Card on PalmStore

The Palm Bluetooth SD Card is now listed on the PalmStore. This card has been available in Europe since last month but has only been available in the U.S. from a few stores and not from Palm itself. The card sells for $130 and it's available now. It will work with all Palm-branded handhelds that have an SD slot.

The Bluetooth SD Card comes with several applications. BlueBoard is an app that lets users wirelessly share a whiteboard while BlueChat lets them write instant messages to each other. Both of these have been licenced from Colligo Networks.

It will come with BtPrint from IS/Complete which lets the user print to a Bluetooth-enabled printer.

One of the primary uses Palm sees for the Bluetooth SD card is it will let people wirelessly connect to their mobile phones and access the Internet from anywhere, without having to hook up wires or keep infrared ports pointed at each other. Naturally, this requires a Bluetooth-enabled mobile phone, which are just starting to become commonly available in the U.S. They are more common in Europe, which is probably why this card was released there first.

The card will also work with Bluetooth network access points, like the one from Pico Communications. The PicoBlue Internet Access Point allows Bluetooth-enabled handhelds to connect to a network or the Internet. It has a range of up to 100 meters and supports up to 7 simultaneous users. It is available now for $500.

Userc can connect to desktops and laptops with Bluetooth adapters and wirelessly HotSync.

This card was co-developed by Palm and Toshiba.

Sony announced a similar Bluetooth Memory Stick yesterday. However, that won't be available until March 23 and then only in Japan. There is no word when it will be available in the U.S. or Europe.

Thanks to Willie G.,  j joe and MPA for the tips. -Ed

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got it a week ago in Belgium

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/12/2002 7:58:04 AM #
Super easy to install
only thing bad is the height (15 mm bigger than SD card). So, my cover can't be closed with the BT card plugged :(
Also i have to play DJ with memory cards
But It's fantastic to get emails with my palm and my T39m without looking for IR alignment(?)

Willythep from Belgium
Sorry for my poor anglish

bought it at Hong Kong already
iitnaobor @ 3/12/2002 8:11:09 AM #
as i may have posted in the forums before,
I already bought the bluetooth SD card in Hong Kong already.... which is released to stores few weeks ago..... well.... imho it is pretty 'difficult; to set up the SD card to the phone.... and when the SD card pops into the palm it DOES NOT automatically go into an on-screen procedure! i have to go to the 'bluetooth' app to set it manually... took me an hour to set the whole thing up with my t39

but after that, it was working great.
It says it can reach a distance of 10m, but when i try to leave my t39 in my room and go to my living room (about 2m away with doors, walls) it is unable to connect....

otherwise it's a great product!

ps: bought it for 1280HK


RE: got it a week ago in Belgium
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/12/2002 11:25:23 AM #
I got my BT card one week ago. Installed in my new m130 and connected to my GPRS enabled Ericsson T39, it really was a new Palm feeling ;-)

But today MultiMail crashes with a memmory error, I had to reset my Palm with a full erase, and now, after rreinstalling form my backup, the BT connection does not work any more, even after complete and careful review of the whole setup...

So I think the overall software setup stability still is not stable and needs improvement!

RE: got it a week ago in Belgium
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/13/2002 12:20:19 PM #
I have been using the Bluetooth SD card in conjunction with my t39 and GPRS for a week now. Setup was a breeze, less than 10 minutes. I can now check my mail just on my Palm, and sending long SMS is so much simpler now. I even am now using a couple of WAP sites now, which would be unthinkable for me without this setup.

RE: got it a week ago in Belgium
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/13/2002 1:17:58 PM #
must say i have some troubles with MMPro III (w/o bt card) since i changed my old PV for a M505. Maybe MMPRO is not compatible with OS4. This is a old software and no new realease from Palm (new owner) since 1999.
Had some crash with eudora too but it seems it's a problem coming from autoshut off system.
i keep palm on with AOctrlDA when retrieving emails
Anyway, i have trouble with funSMS 3 and BT connexion, any experience?


RE: got it a week ago in Belgium
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/14/2002 4:17:52 AM #
Hi, I am in München, Germany. Where can I buy the SD blue tooth card in europe? Thanks for the information

RE: got it a week ago in Belgium
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/15/2002 4:47:25 PM #
saturn hansa in der neuhauser strasse hat sie für €190


I.M. Anonymous @ 3/12/2002 8:30:31 AM #
you mean 25 lap dances? no way im paying that kind of cash for an stampsized ...thing.

RE: $500?
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/12/2002 8:49:37 AM #
Wouldn't it be so cool if you'd read the article BEFORE commenting? Then you would have known that the BT card is $130, not $500, and that it's the BT access point for general-purpose networking that costs $500, and your stupidity wouldn't have been nearly so obvious and embarrassing.

RE: $500?
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/12/2002 10:09:21 AM #
Wouldn't it have been good for you to read his post BEFORE commenting? Does he explicitly mention the product name that his post referrences? By simply questioning a $500 price tag, I just assumed he was talking about the Pico product. But then again, I'm not an arrogant jack *** who feels the need to start a flame war in every news/forum posting available on this site.

25 Lap Dances?
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/12/2002 10:09:30 AM #
Dude, with the cost now clearly defined at a mear 6 Lap "performances", you can see that by diverting your urges from "Crazy Horse" to CompUSA, you can stay home and play with your new blue tooth!

RE: $500?
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/12/2002 10:20:22 AM #
> Does he explicitly mention the product name that his post referrences?

No, but he does call it "stampsized". The PicoBlue access point would make a truly Brobdingnagian stamp. :-)

I think the tone of second person's complaint was excessive but there is a reoccurring problem on these boards of people writing comments who clearly haven't fully read or understood the articles they are talking about. I would suggest that everyone read the entire article over twice before commenting. You'll save yourself some embarrassment and all of us some time.

RE: $500?
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/12/2002 10:26:59 AM #
But if you are used to paying $500 for 25 lapdances, you are already used to paying that much for a postage stamp sized thing! ;-)

RE: $500?
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/12/2002 10:27:13 AM #
> Wouldn't it have been good for you to read his post BEFORE commenting? Does he explicitly mention the product name that his post referrences? By simply questioning a $500 price tag, I just assumed he was talking about the Pico product.
Maybe YOU should re-read his post... especially the "stampsized thing" part. The pico access point is not stamp-sized, but rather large at 8 x 6 x 1.5 inches. I read everything accurately, hence my comment.

RE: $500?
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/12/2002 10:41:08 AM #
Maybe they should market the BT chip that way...Use it to cover up parts in ads.

RE: $500?
aardvarko @ 3/12/2002 4:32:25 PM #
Maybe Ed should disable anonymous posting.

webmaster at aardvarko dot com
RE: $500?
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/20/2002 11:35:28 AM #
Regardless of the the discrepency of card versus Pico, I have to agree with him. Sure, $130 for
the card, but $500 for the use of it at home??? That's pretty steep considering the only other app
is the Phone(yes, I know there is the conference app, but that is more corporate and most of us
are speaking on an individual basis here).

I know that some airports allow people to connect their laptops to the internet via WiFi. Anyone
know if this is a possiblity with the bluetooth in the future?

can't wait

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/12/2002 8:45:11 AM #
I am really looking forward to it being available in the US so I can connect to nothing whatsoever.

Sort of reminds me of that Dilbert cartoon where he buys a video phone and sits and stares at the static while he waits for someone else to buy one and call him.

RE: can't wait
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/12/2002 8:53:17 AM #
You said it. Bluetooth is a wonderful thing, but until there's something to connect to, I just won't be getting it. I understand that SOMEONE has to be first, and it's great that Palm/Toshiba are right in the front row. But there are precious few BT phones available, and I have yet to see any other useful BT devices.

I wish there was a SD-card-sized 802.11b card available instead. THAT I could use today.

RE: can't wait
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/12/2002 10:12:06 AM #
its still expensive if you ask me even if other device will be available. to have a pair of connected device we will be spending 2x. but yeah someone has to be first. when demand increases prices usually drops down.... i hope.

I can't help it . . .

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/12/2002 9:03:30 AM #
Just looking at the Palm pictured with this story after reading about the Sony clamshell just makes me chuckle. I have used Palm forever it seems, but there is no denying that their current lineup seems destined for the dustbin. Sony has really upped the ante with these new designs. Palm will have to look at lowering prices by $200 per model to compare with what we will be seeing from other companies.

RE: I can't help it . . .
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/12/2002 10:01:12 AM #
Those handhelds Sony just introduced don't have built-in Bluetooth. It also just introduced a Bluetooth MemStick, though it won't be available here for at least a month. In short, it is pursuing the exact same strategy Palm is, though Palm is a bit ahead.

You all have to give up the Cult of Sony. Sony will not fix all your problems.

RE: I can't help it . . .
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/12/2002 10:14:10 AM #
In a way sony will. Im really impressed with the new sonys but im still waiting for palm to advance and compete. palm is using too much marketing tactics esp on the m130. m515 was able to equip with 16mb but they still made m130 8mb, palm has the technology but theyre limiting might just force then to be as extravagant.

palm should have 320x320, 16mbram, extended IR, good speakers and still maintain the Vx/m505 form factor. yeah yeah its called T615 but if they maintain the formfactor a lot of m505/m500 users will switch (including me) but as we all know palm..they will probably wait til the whole inventory of m515 runs out.


RE: I can't help it . . .
Ed @ 3/12/2002 10:58:46 AM #
This isn't going to turn into yet another Palm vs. Sony arguement. If your comments don't mention Bluetooth or wireless networking, I'm going to treat them as off topic and remove them. Sorry but this exact same discussion has been held a dozen times over the past few weeks. If you want to talk about something besides Bluetooth, go over to the Forums and do it there.

News Editor

RE: I can't help it . . .
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/12/2002 1:07:38 PM #
Sorry Ed, but i think that should read:
"If you want to talk about something besides Bluetooth, *please* go over to the Forums and do it there."

It all gets down to who's got it first....
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/12/2002 1:13:08 PM #
And the front runners are sony and Palm. I'd be happy to hear any bluetooth news from Handera or Handspring if they are available.

Truth is, Ed, that from now on innovations will primarily come from these two companies and within a period of two years, I would predict that the only innovations we'll be talking will come from one of the two companies. Next thing you know it would be SonyEricsson vs. Palm/Nokia (Remember the connection kit?) Be it bluetooth, Wi-Fi, SD/MS, 3G.....if it is Palm OS, you simply won't be able to take those companies out of your discussions.

RE: I can't help it . . .
Ed @ 3/12/2002 1:56:00 PM #
If you want to talk about the differences in Palm's vs. Sony's Bluetooth or wireless networking strategies, I'm perfectly fine with that. But this thread was showing signs of degenerating into "The m515 sucks" and "The T615C has bad buttons", none of which had anything to do with Bluetooth and all of which has been covered ad finitum recently.

News Editor
OK, now could anyone tell me.....
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/12/2002 2:48:22 PM #
what is the difference between a M500 with a bluetooth SD in it and a CLIE with a bluetooth MS in it?

You could express your views as a user or a technical person, as long as it is reflected in the user experience over a period of time. (Durability, range, etc). I want to be an informed buyer so please feel free to express.

RE: OK, now could anyone tell me....
ihxo @ 3/12/2002 2:59:41 PM #
unfortunately no one could answer that question :) Not alot of people have seen a Bluetooth MS in person yet, and not alot of people have a Bluetooth SD yet. But I really don't see how the two could be different in the user experience standpoint. It's like asking the difference of the ease of use of PCMCIA ethernet card and PCI based ethernet card.

RE: I can't help it . . .
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/13/2002 5:07:28 AM #
From user interface's perspective, Sony's Bluetooth MS and Palm's SDIO card are identical. Only the hardware device layer (SDIO vs. MSIO) of Bluetooth stack (HC4) is different. With Sony's MSIO HC4 layer loaded, Palm's BT stacks can drive Sony's BT MS.

File exchange is similar to IR Beam. Instead of Beam function from the menu bar, you will get a Send function on the menu bar.

Both card have same wireless range, 30 feet in-door, room to room. 50-60 ft in open area.

Speed benchmark of SDIO is far less than 700KB. Avg. is about 320KB. This is about the same benchmark for almost every BT PCMCIA cards available on the market, so does iPAQ 3870.

Battery drainage is acceptable. In my case, I charge m505 every other week without BT. With BT always in the SD slot, I need to charge it every week.

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/13/2002 1:01:16 PM #
Any security concerns on these bluetooth devices? Would someone be able to tap on my transmission to the Internet via mobile phone? Which one has a better security protection (hard and soft.)? Please? Anyone?

RE: Security
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/13/2002 3:04:03 PM #
There is an explicit PAIRing process that needs to be done between your phone and the Palm before the Palm can use the phone as a modem. So, unless you have let an intruder PAIR with your phone - they can't use your phone without your knowledge (and burn your minutes).

As far as eavesdropping, I think with the phones, encryption is set to on by default, so unless they crack bluetooth encryption, they can't eavesdrop. And supposedly, the strength of the encryption depends on your PIN length that you select during the PAIRing process.

Thanks a lot for the info
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/14/2002 2:57:09 AM #
Very grateful for answering my bluetooth questions.

What is faster?

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/12/2002 9:05:55 AM #
Bluetooth or 802.11? I saw someone posted BT as 40kbps, and 802.11 as 30kpbs. I know 802.11 has a much farther reach but which has a faster data speed?

RE: What is faster?
jontz @ 3/12/2002 9:12:54 AM #
802.11 is much faster with speeds up to 11 Mbps. Bluetooth's maximum speed is only about 1 Mbps. Granted, all of this depends on range, but 802.11 has a much larger range as well...300 feet instead of 30 (on average). The main advantage to bluetooth is that it doesn't require much power, where 802.11 is very power hungry. I would wager that if you had a 802.11 card in a palm m505 you would only get about 2 hours of battery life. Hope this helps

"what do i want to do with it"?
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/12/2002 10:23:55 AM #
802.11 is much faster. But this is comparing apples with peers. Better questions would be "what do i want to do with it" and "where do i have to use it for?"

WLANs typically cover distances from ten to a few hundred meters. This smaller coverage distance allows lower power transmissions that often permit the use of unlicensed frequency bands. Because LANs often are used for relatively high-capacity data communications, they often have fairly high data rates. IEEE 802.11, for example, has a nominal range of 100 meters and data rates up to 11 Mbps. This combination of coverage and data rate leads to moderate-to-high power consumption; thus, the types of devices normally used with WLANs are ones that have a robust computing platform and power supply; notebook computers, in particular.

WPANs cover distances on the order of 10 meters and typically are used to connect various personal portable devices without using cables. This peer-to-peer device communication doesn't usually require exceedingly fast data rates. Bluetooth wireless technology, for example, has a nominal range of 10 meters with raw data rates up to 1 Mbps. The short range and relatively low data rates result in low power consumption, making WPAN technologies suitable for use with small, mobile, battery-powered devices such as PDAs, mobile phones, pagers, digital cameras, and so on. In addition, low-power transmission allows for the use of unlicensed frequency bands. Bluetooth technology operates in the unlicensed 2.4 GHz spectrum.

from The phony conflict: IEEE 802.11 and Bluetooth wireless technology by Brent Miller

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 ). 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

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.

Good luck.

RE: What is faster?
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/12/2002 12:36:27 PM #
Thanks for taking the time to explain the differences in terms of technology and application.


RE: What is faster? There's no difference on the Palm
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/12/2002 3:30:15 PM #
The Palm is the main bottle neck with data access. It doesn't have the cpu processing power to move data much faster than 56k. Therefore, Bluetooth is the better application for the palm considering this limitation. If the new ARM systems can take advantage of 802.11's higher bandwidth, then 802.11 would have the upper hand in speed.

RE: What is faster?
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/12/2002 3:43:02 PM #
thanks. Now if ATT&T in the NE could only give me a Nokia 8xxx with BT and 2.5-3G Nationwide coverage I'd be set.

RE: What is faster?
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/12/2002 4:28:29 PM #
> The Palm is the main bottle neck with data access.
> It doesn't have the cpu processing power to move data
> much faster than 56k.

Uh, NO! I move data way faster than that over wired and wireless Ethernet on my HandEra 330. Note how fast data transfer is to/from SD cards on the various Palms that have it, way faster than 56k. At 56k it would take 10 seconds to load even a small database or application. Yes the CPU on the Palm is a limitation, but 56k is absolutely wrong.

Who is it that keeps posting this 56k/serial speed crap in every thread on this site that is discussing Bluetooth? I've seen it about at least three times in different threads on this site. Stop it. You do not know what you are talking about.

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