Written on Wednesday, November 01, 2006 by Gemini
From jackets and watches to eyewear and pens, Bluetooth wireless technology has become more user-friendly than ever before.
WELCOME to the wirefree world. Men and women speaking via miniature headsets, controlling gadgets almost magically and being almost like demi-Gods in a world where everything is just a voice command away.
From hands-free headsets to wireless game controllers, Bluetooth technology is making IT and electronic communication more accessible than ever. Today, you can use your cell phone or PDA as a universal remote to control all your audiovisual equipment, TV, home security and automation systems, which have Bluetooth interfaces. Also, you can receive alerts on your mobile that the refrigerator door has been left open or the oven is on. Bluetooth-linked shopping malls, grocery stores, restaurants, and other retail areas could allow you to perform financial transactions.
Devita Saraf, CEO, Vu Technologies says, “Any appliance that has a digital interface can be made Bluetooth-compatible, such as PCs, mobile phones, PDAs, keyboards, toasters, and coffee machines. We may be seeing almost every electronic device in a room interconnected and communicating with each other, leading us into a world of true digital convergence.”
Says Sankalp Saxena, founder, M ove o Technologies, “The most common device today is a wireless headset, which is paired to Bluetooth-enabled phones. But there are more compelling and innovative applications, which are emerging. Like the next-generation sensing applications, which can detect a Bluetooth device and, once paired, can establish a communication session.” He explains, “You could walk into a movie theatre and get summaries and show-times for specific movies on your phone. A visit to the mall could get you a listing of all the sales or special events happening. You could enter an airport and get the ETD (estimated time of departure) and gate number of your flight and then check in remotely at a Bluetooth terminal…” The applications seem endless.
In the airline industry, electronic tickets are common. However, they require the issue of a paper boarding-pass, and self-service check-in often requires the use of a credit card or frequent flyer card to identify the traveller. With Bluetooth, a personal device like the cell phone or the PDA, which includes your personal identity, could help you check in. An electronic boarding pass could be issued and stored in the Bluetooth device; which could be used to wirelessly present the boarding pass while boarding the aircraft.
Bluetooth could change the way we approach medical services too. A Medical Devices Working Group, made up of 19 member companies, including IBM, Intel, Motorola, Philips Electronics and Welch Allyn, are working together to create and ratify a Bluetooth Medical Device Profile that will expand the use of this technology into the medical, health and fitness markets. Now weight scales, blood pressure monitors and exercise equipment, which implement the new standard, will be able to send information to Bluetoothenabled PCs or cell phones so you can monitor your health or share this information with experts.
Bluetooth also allows ECG measurements to be taken by remote. Also, an inhaler or intravenous medication delivery device with this technology could transmit information about the dosage and time to your medical practitioner.
A team of South Korean researchers have developed the BioShirt, which monitors a runner’s temperature, heart rate and speed. It then sends that data to a wrist-worn monitor via Bluetooth and if any of the three data types hits a ceiling configured in advance, a warning sign will let the marathoner know it is time to stop running. The shirt could also have similar applications for elderly or infirm patients who need constant attention.
- Motorola and Italian helmet maker Momo have developed a Bluetooth helmet that has an integrated speaker and microphone. It has the ability to make and receive phone calls.
- Wristwatch maker Fossil’s Bluetooth watch ($250) has a caller ID.
- France Telecom’s Bluetooth-compatible LED screen fits into clothing and displays text, drawings and animations sent by multimedia messaging service (MMS).
- With Motorola and Oakley’s RAZRWIRE Bluetooth eyewear ($300), you can listen to a Bluetooth MP3 player or carry on phone conversations while up to 30 feet away from your Bluetooth-enabled cell phone.
- OTM Technologies’ VPen is a Bluetooth pen with which you can write anywhere. You can even control your Roomba vacuum cleaners ($129.99) with this technology.