Opinions Vary on Bluetooth vs. 802.11
Phillip Redman, a technology analyst for the Gartner Group, said that neither 802.11 nor Bluetooth is likely to win out as a single wireless standard. Bluetooth will be used to create connections between devices while 802.11 is a more robust networking method.
However, he said that 802.11 is more expensive than Bluetooth and uses more power, which will limit its inclusion in many mobile devices.
On the other hand, Sean Maloney, general manager of the Intel Communications Group, said earlier this week, "802.11 has won. Bluetooth is in full retreat from Moscow at the moment. It may end up winning but right now it isn't...Bluetooth will survive but it will be a much more niche product than expected."
Until now, Intel has been a major advocate of Bluetooth and is an important member of the Bluetooth SIG, the trade group for the technology. It is not yet clear if Intel is changing its plans on Bluetooth products. Xircom, an Intel subsidiary, has announced it is releasing a Bluetooth clip-on module that uses Palm's Universal Connector and a Bluetooth Springboard module in the next few months. They also make an 802.11 Springboard.
Palm has thrown its weight heavily behind Bluetooth. It is also an important member of the Bluetooth SIG and has promised a Bluetooth SD card by the end of this year and that next year it will release handhelds with built-in Bluetooth.
Sony has also shown support for Bluetooth. They are expected to release the Infostick, a Memory Stick with Bluetooth capabilities, sometime this year.
There has also been strong third-party support for Bluetooth. Several companies have announced clip-on modules for the Palm V series and others are making printers and network access ports.
At this time, Xircom appears to be the only company that has announced any products designed specifically to give PalmOS handhelds 802.11 access. But 802.11 has already begun to be adopted as a method to wirelessly connect laptops and there are a large number of products to support this. Companies have even begun to install 802.11 networks in major airports.
Bluetooth is the name of a short-range radio frequency (RF) technology that replaces cables. Bluetooth allows computers, peripherals, and other devices to communicate with each other without having a physical connection, or direct line-of-sight with each other, and without needing extra communication protocols. Bluetooth technology operates at 2.4 GHz and is capable of transmitting voice and data. The effective range of Bluetooth devices is 32 feet (10 meters). Bluetooth transfers data at the rate of 1 Mbps, which is from three to eight times the average speed of parallel and serial ports, respectively. Bluetooth technology allows users to create a PAN (Personal Area Network) in which they can synchronize data with handhelds and PCs, and access data and E-mail on handhelds remotely with the use of a Bluetooth enabled cellular phone.
802.11b Wireless LAN, also known as Wireless Ethernet, is a radio frequency (RF) network access technology. It allows users to access information wirelessly throughout a home, business or campus location. The technology is most often used to expand the coverage of a wired LAN, but, it can also be used to replace wired networks. The technology can require the installation of access points (radio transceivers) to provide wireless coverage across a local area. Wireless LAN can also exist in a Peer-to-Peer setting, between devices that have WLAN access modules. The 802.11b standard ensures interoperability among WLAN networks by implementing regulations for WLAN product manufacturers. Businesses, schools, and other institutions often find it beneficial to standardize equipment so that they can combine hardware from different vendors. Home users who purchase 802.11b compliant products are assured that they will work with products produced by various manufacturers.
- Cnet: Commentary: A race with two winners
- Cnet: Bluetooth has lost, says Intel executive
- PIC: Palm Not Brushing Off Bluetooth
- PIC: Palm Unveils Bluetooth SD Card
- PIC: Sony Developing Bluetooth Memory Stick
- PIC: Xircom Releases Info on 802.11b and Bluetooth Modules
- PIC: Xircom 802.11b Springport Mini-Review
- PIC: Wireless Forum
Article Comments(18 comments)
This article is no longer accepting new comments.
- I got one -Tuckermaclain
- I got one -Tuckermaclain
- RE: Don't we have this already? -Tuckermaclain
- RE: Palm brand will return in 2018, with devices built by TCL -richf
- RE: Palm brand will return in 2018, with devices built by TCL -dmitrygr
- Palm phone on HDblog -palmato
- Palm PVG100 -hgoldner
- RE: Like Deja Vu -PacManFoo