Categories: "PAN" or "Bluetooth" or "Ultra Wide Band" or "ZigBee"
IEEE 802.15 concentrates on wireless PAN for a variety of purposes:
- Task Group 1a - WPAN 15.1 Revisions to Bluetooth (R) v1.2 published 2002 June 14
- Task Group 2 - WPAN interoperability so that all those devices in the 2.4GHz don't interfere with each other, i.e. coexistence of 802.15 and 802.11 [WiFi] devices
- Task Group 3a - WPAN Alternate High Rate MAC and PHY
- Task Group 3b - WPAN 15.3 Maintenance
- Task Group 4a - WPAN Alternate Low Rate MAC and PHY
- Task Group 4b - WPAN 15.4 Revisions and Enhancements
- Task Group 5 - WPAN Mesh Networking
UWB and WiMedia fall into 802.15.3 - There is no standard approved as yet. Proponents of UWB have been claiming for years that they will kill off Bluetooth - but there are neither products nor standards on which to base products. WiMedia wants to connect your [TiVo or Windows or... remember Sun Jini?] media center computer to your TV, stereo, etc. But 802.11 a or g or upcoming n do a great job of that.
ZigBee (TM) falls under 802.15.4 and finally had its standard approved on 2004 December 14. But if you check out ZigBee.org, there are still no products. ZigBee concentrates on low-power, low-duty-cylce needs replacing feedback loops for control circuits and sensors. According to their web site, their initial markets include home control, building automation and industrial automation.
Compare these lack of products with WiFi, other 802.11 derivatives and Bluetooth where products generally are announced in advance of the standards being ratified, with compliant products being announced near simultaneously with standards announcements. Bluetooth and WiFi have their markets identified and fill consumer needs or desires. ZigBee comes closest to doing this with its focus on sensors and controls requireing only a low duty-cycle, and I'll do a further study on ZigBee soon. But without clearly defined user needs, these standards are unlikely to make much of an impact in the marketplace.
Many articles are saying that 2005 will be the year of Bluetooth. Maybe, maybe not. People have been saying that for awhile. Having lived with my Jabra FreeSpeak and convinced partners and friends to get one, I don't see how people can live with a wire crawling from their ear, through their clothes and into whatever pocket, pouch or clip-on holds their cell phone.
Now, we've finally begun playing with a Bluetooth/USB dongle hanging off of our laptops and one workstation. Our Palm Tungstens and our cell phones (Sony Ericsson T68i for me, T637 for my partner) connected up great. Finally, easy synchronization among our various contact databases. This is great.
Now, what I really want is a stereo, noise-cancelling Bluetooth headphone - maybe even with a good microphone. But there are so few on the market.
So maybe more choices on the headphones, and with more manufacturers including Bluetooth in laptops, TabletPCs and other computers... Maybe... 2006?
Bluetooth connection between the Palm Tungsten T and the Ericsson T637 via Palm Phone Link is not possible. There are no available drivers for the T637.
Because of the unavailability of the Palm Phone Link drivers for the T637, one can't use the phone as a GPRS modem to send and receive e-mail, browse the Web and go out to the internet with the Palm.
An email from Palm support says:
I am really sorry to say that there are no phone drivers available at this moment that is compatible with the Sony Ericson T637. Our developers are working upon the issue and we hope to come out with the drivers soon. So I would advise you to please keep in touch with our website so that you can download the drivers as soon as they are released.
Ericsson Online support email says:
We do not at this time supply drivers for synchronization or connectivity with palm. We only supply drivers for connection between your phone and PC. Please contact the palm company's to see if they will provide support drivers for these phones. This is something that is not supported, but is definetly being discussed.
The last update of the Palm Phone Link drivers were on March 31, 2004 http://www.palmone.com/us/support/downloads/phonelink.html so, hopefully new drivers for newer phone would come out soon.
Pairing is the process of establishing trust between any two nodes of a wiki(bluetooth) wiki(personal area network) (PAN). This discussion will go into the basics of pairing, and what pairing allows and doesn't allow, per the Bluetooth specification. You can also read my blog on Jabra vs Plantronics to see the instructions for pairing the Jabra to a phone, the instructions for pairing the Plantronics to a phone, the reality of pairing these two devices to my Sony Ericsson T68i, and any oddities, bugs or features discovered by having two headsets paired to one phone.
Pairing creates a secure and automated connection between two devices with Bluetooth radios. The connection is secure due to wiki(encryption) and the use of a "passkey". It is automated as once the pairing is accomplished, the devices will automatically connect upon command. Pairing is also referred to as "creating a trusted pair" or "bonding".
According to the Bluetooth SIG, pairing is constantly evolving and allowing new functions. Some examples given on their website are:
"Your wireless headset connects to the mobile phone in your briefcase. Your handheld automatically synchronizes with your personal computer when you walk in the office. Your mobile phone, handheld, and personal computer all share the same address book, schedule, and to-do list.
"And this is just the beginning. Bluetooth Wireless Technology is now poised to enhance industrial automation, expand gaming possibilities and propel delivery-tracking innovation. A Bluetooth pen, a Bluetooth briefcase, a Bluetooth refrigerator - not only possible, but inevitable and real with Bluetooth Wireless Technology."
Recently I had the opportunity to use a Plantronics M3000 Bluetooth headset for several months. My normal headset is a Jabra FreeSpeak BT200. The Jabra is easy to use, extremely comfortable, and produces high-quality sound through both the speaker and the microphone. The Plantronics doesn't match any of these.