Speakers here at a Bluetooth conference said developers have an obligation to publicize and simplify the technology further to ensure its success.
More work must be done to educate consumers on the advantages of Bluetooth, executives said. Meanwhile, more manufacturers, especially carriers, need to sign on to the wireless technology to enable the wireless personal-area-network (PAN) technology to become pervasive, they said.
Mike McCamon, the executive director of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group, called Bluetooths glass "half full". "Next year will be a really exciting year for Bluetooth," he said.
The problem is that executives have been saying this since Bluetooth was first introduced nearly four years ago. Since then, developers have made great strides in developing devices that are interoperable. With many technical questions answered, Bluetooth proponents are faced now with convincing customers that Bluetooth will be a profitable proposition.
"Weve been waiting for the other shoe to drop for some time here," said Seamus McAteer, principal analyst at the Zelos Group analyst firm.
The key bloc of customers to persuade will be carriers, which will provide the network and some Bluetooth services. Although AT&T Wireless in the U.S. has been convinced of the value of Bluetooth, McAtee said, more carriers are using the technology in Europe. Bluetooth likely will be worth 2.5 percent more in total carrier revenue over time, he said, although the cutthroat nature of wireless services may make this a valuable proposition.
McCamon said the Bluetooth SIG will hire a PR agency in Europe to help promote the standard, and the SIGs first priority will be to make Bluetooth technology fully function in 5 minutes after a consumer opens the box.
Zelos estimates that 12.25 million Bluetooth-enabled devices will ship this year in the year, and about twice that many in Europe. By 2006, however, Zelos estimates, about 90 percent of PDAs, 80 percent of notebook PCs, and 75 percent of mobile handsets will include Bluetooth.