Bluetooth is perhaps the most hyped of all wireless technologies, and justifiably so. It promises to cram an entire wireless system onto a single chip, cheap enough to be built into all mobile phones, PCs, PDAs, and eventually other devices. Rather than a LAN, Bluetooth's advocates describe it as a PAN (Personal Area Network).

These PANs will surround everyone, Bluetooth promoters hope, embracing every device that people carry. They will automatically interface with the refrigerator at home, the security system in the office, and mobile phones on the move. As people interact, their PANs will connect to beam over contact details, data files, or even digital cash.

Bluetooth dates back to an Ericsson project in 1994, which tried to find ...

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