the more omnipresent wireless equivalent. Take a closer look at your cellular phone
and your notebook computer: Infrared-enabled? Again, take a closer look at your cel-
lular phone and your notebook computer: Bluetooth- or WiFi-enabled? If you place
two Infrared-enabled notebooks unassumingly beside each other you will become
bemused as you begin to hear “whooshing” and “whirring” sounds along with an
impromptu notification on your Windows taskbar informing you that you can
now connect to your colleagues computer and transfer files. Similarly, placing your
Infrared-enabled cellular phone alongside your computer would unassumingly insti-
gate communication whilst in line-of-sight. This ability and sheer simplicity conveys
a degree of confidence that has been unmatched by any other wireless technology
to date (with the undeniable exception of the cellular market). A clear notification
of intent to transfer files or any other information is visibly made clear to the user
and, moreover, the impromptu notification allows the user to review any potential
transactions. In Chapter 14, we discuss a similar notion of enabling communication
between two devices.
But, does line-of-sight really matter? No. However, the founding premise of
Bluetooth is that you no longer need to point at a device to make it do something.
Bluetooth wireless technology has a lot to live up to: as we have already discussed and
highlighted there is a certain element of success within the cellular industry. Moreover,
Bluetooth now needs to encompass a wider market and maintain the offer of simplic-
ity for it to succeed.
The Odd Couple: Bluetooth and Ultra-Wideband
But what is to be made of the newly formed alliance between Bluetooth wireless tech-
nology and UWB? Perhaps it’s a case of “keep your friends close, but keep your ene-
mies closer?” It is clearly evident that UWB offers higher data rates and establishes a
more reliable data connection due to its multipath and wide bandwidth techniques
(we discuss UWB in Chapter 15, Ultra-Wideband: Introducing a New Short-Range
Wireless Medium). In many presentations of the UWB technology many have argued
that Bluetooth and UWB are competitors. Similarly, on these occasions we may have
become privy to numerous use cases illustrating how it would be possible for UWB to
succeed where Bluetooth fails; some reports even dare to suggest that Bluetooth is
dead. It really is too dark out there to see who is holding the hammer in a final attempt
to drive in that last nail!
Nevertheless, it seems that, with a degree of predictability, following various
announcements made by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) and press agencies,
industry commentators have unconditionally welcomed the extensible possibilities
Bluetooth: A Cable Replacement Technology 139
Chapter 11

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