Now that Apple is officially backing Bluetooth wireless technology, it could be the “next big thing,” according to a story in the UK daily,
Apple CEO Steve Jobs
previewed the Mac implementation of Bluetooth
at Macworld Tokyo. The technology enables short-range wireless connectivity between a Mac and a variety of digital devices, including Bluetooth-enabled PDAs and cell phones.
Bluetooth was introduced by the mobile phone maker Ericsson in 1994 and is backed by a consortium of nine major companies including Nokia, Microsoft, IBM, Intel and Motorola, and has 2,000 companies involved in designing products or software for it, but hasn’t gained much ground. But now that Apple has embraced (or at least accepted it) that could change.
“How can that make a difference? Hasn’t Apple only got a fraction of the computer market?” the article asks. “Yes, but the rest of the PC industry looks to what Apple does and follows … Once Apple incorporates a technology, that means it has found a way to make it easy to use. And when that happens, wider adoption can follow.”
The article credits Apple with bringing USB connectivity and 802.11b standard (thanks to AirPort) to the forefront. The same could happen with Bluetooth. The main problem, according to the Independent, seems to be that its wireless signal is in the same frequency range as 802.11b, and might interfere with it.
“Apple’s release of the software presumably gets around this problem,” the article says. “Which means that the floodgates should be about to open for Bluetooth-enabled PDAs, cameras, video cameras, mobile phones, printers and computers. After nearly a decade of being the Next Big Thing, it might be the Big Thing itself.” (Thanks to MacCentral reader, Barry Clarke, for the heads-up on this item.)