Some Smart-Phone Users Feeling Blue in Their Cars

By Shelley Solheim  |  Posted 2004-12-06 Print this article Print

Some users of PalmOne's Treo 650 are reporting problems connecting their new Bluetooth-enabled smart phones with their Bluetooth car kits.

Some users of PalmOne Inc.s Treo 650 are reporting problems connecting their new Bluetooth-enabled smart phones with their Bluetooth car kits—a result of automakers not being in sync with the latest Bluetooth standards.

"Bluetooth was the main reason that I purchased the Treo 650. Id been holding out and had not purchased the Treo 600 for that reason," said Christian Dill, of Chicago, who had successfully used several Bluetooth-equipped phones in his car before purchasing the Treo 650. "I have a Hands Free Link in my car and use it all the time. It is a tremendous timesaver. I have a 2004 Lexus LS 430, and the integrated Bluetooth has been wonderful—up until now."

The situation has moved Dill to start a blog dedicated to the issue.

PalmOne officials said the Treo 650 supports the Bluetooth Special Interest Groups hands-free profile that allows the phones and car kits to talk to each other. However, "at this stage of the Bluetooth technology adoption by automakers ... each manufacturer has its own implementation flavor or interpretation of the profile," said PalmOne spokesperson Jennifer Stryd. PalmOne officials said the company will provide an update on its Web site later this month with a list of car kits that work with the smart phone.

The Bluetooth SIG is also investigating the problem. Pairing Bluetooth-enabled devices has been a consistent problem for the short-range wireless technology. The SIG is planning to ramp up its efforts to address the problem in the coming year.

"It is unclear at this point what exactly is causing the interoperability issues between the Treo 650 and various automobiles hands-free systems," said Bluetooth SIG spokesperson Kari Hernandez in Seattle. "We are in the process of testing the device with several different vehicles."

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