Bluetooth Backers Launch Ease-of-Use Initiative

Bluetooth designers, developers to get improved resources, says Bluetooth SIG.

SAN JOSE, Calif.—While Bluetooth has been moving steadily toward maturity, the spread of products based on the short-distance wireless networking technology has fallen far below expectations—a state of affairs that vendors, developers and devotees gathered to mull over Tuesday at this years Bluetooth Developers Conference.

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group believes that ease-of-use is part of the solution. To help encourage Bluetooth vendors to start shipping more user-friendly devices, the SIG announced its "5-Minute Ready" program.

The program includes initiatives for providing Bluetooth designers and developers with improved resources, and for educating the public on Bluetooth and its use.

While theres room for improvement in the interfaces of current offerings, perhaps more important to success of the technology is getting more Bluetooth products in front of consumers.

Bluetooth was invented with mobile phones in mind, and the technologys most compelling uses involve wireless handsets. However, wireless carriers have been slow to offer Bluetooth-enabled phones to their subscribers and have generally not publicized the Bluetooth gear they do sell.

At the conference, the SIG stressed the benefits of Bluetooth to wireless carriers—by enabling flexible laptop or PDA to phone links, Bluetooth can help drive data usage on 2.5 and 3G networks.