writer Arik Hesseldahl said that the Bluetooth wireless communication standard is picking up steam, thanks to recent efforts from companies like Palm, Colligo, Hewlett-Packard, Epson and Apple. The comments come in a new Ten O’Clock Tech column entitled
Bluetooth gets real.
Palm’s support of Bluetooth through add-on cards for its line of expandable PDA devices has certainly helped the wireless standard gain momentum, according to Hesseldahl, who also cited Hewlett-Packard and Epson’s adoption of Bluetooth support for various printers as another contributing factor.
Hesseldahl noted some cool Bluetooth-enabled apps already available for Palm PDAs that enable users to share “real-time virtual whiteboards” with one another, as well as chat in real-time. Another application enables some Bluetooth-equipped printers from Hewlett-Packard to print data from a Palm PDA as well.
Epson does not currently support Bluetooth communication between their printers and Macs, despite Apple’s recent adoption of Bluetooth through a software “technology preview” release and the shipment of D-Link USB adapters that enables any USB-equipped Mac to communicate with Bluetooth-compatible peripherals. The printer company should “remedy this deficiency, and soon,” according to Hesseldahl.
Hesseldahl said that part of the problem with Bluetooth is that people don’t understand how it differs from Wi-Fi wireless networking (like Apple’s AirPort technology). “Wi-Fi is for connecting a PC, typically a laptop, to the world via the Internet, without the need for an Ethernet cord. Bluetooth’s target is far less ambitious, though no less interesting, and just as potentially useful,” he concluded.