What types of companies are
likely to adopt or promote Bluetooth technology?
Companies likely to adopt this technology include, but are not limited to,
software developers, network vendors, silicon vendors, peripheral and camera
manufacturers, mobile PC and handheld device manufacturers, consumer electronics
manufacturers and more.
What companies are involved
in the Bluetooth initiative?
Global technology leaders Ericsson, Nokia, IBM, Intel and Toshiba founded the
Bluetooth SIG in 1998. These companies are now supported by over 1,000 other
organizations with a wide range of expertise, including Widcomm, Inc.
Are different brands of
Bluetooth products compatible?
Yes. They have to. The Bluetooth Logo Certification Program requires Bluetooth
products to interoperate with products manufactured by other vendors; those
products that don’t interoperate will not be allowed to use the Bluetooth logo.
Is Bluetooth practical for
use with mobile devices?
Yes. One concern for mobile computing users is power consumption. Bluetooth
radios are very low power, drawing as little as 0.3mA in standby mode and 30mA
during sustained data transmissions. Bluetooth radios alternate among
power-saving modes in which device activity is lowered to maximize the mobile
What kind of encryption will
be used for Bluetooth security?
The Bluetooth specification 1.0 describes the link encryption algorithm as a
stream cipher using 4 LFSR (linear feedback shift registers). The sum of the
width of the LFSRs is 128, and the spec says “the effective key length is
selectable between 8 and 128 bits”. This arrangement allows Bluetooth to be used
in countries with regulations limiting encryption strength, and “facilitate a
future upgrade path for the security without the need for a costly redesign of
the algorithms and encryption hardware” according to the Bluetooth
specification. Key generation and authentication seems to be using the 8-round
SAFER+ encryption algorithm. The information available suggests that Bluetooth
security will be adequate for most purposes; but users with higher security
requirements will need to employ stronger algorithms to ensure the security of
What is the range of
Bluetooth is designed for very low power use, and the transmission range will
only be 10m, about 30ft. High-powered Bluetooth devices will enable ranges up to
100m (300ft). Considering the design philosophy behind Bluetooth, even the 10m
range is adequate for the purposes Bluetooth is intended for. Later versions of
the Bluetooth spec may allow longer ranges.
What is the data throughput
speed of a Bluetooth connection?
Bluetooth transfers data at a rate of 721 Kbps, which is from three to eight
times the average speed of parallel and serial ports, respectively. This
bandwidth is capable of transmitting voice, data, video and still images
Will Bluetooth and Wireless
LAN (WLAN) interfere with each other?
No, both Bluetooth and WLAN can co-exist. Since Bluetooth devices use Frequency
Hopping and most WLANs use Direct Sequence Spreading techniques they each appear
as background noise to the other and should not cause any perceivable
Will other RF (Radio
Frequency) devices interfere with Bluetooth Devices?
No. Bluetooth radios operate on the unlicensed 2.4 GHz (Industrial, Scientific
and Medical) frequency band that is shared among other devices (microwave ovens,
cordless phones, garage door openers, etc. ). Bluetooth radios switch
frequencies at such a rapid pace (1,600 times per second) and the data packets
are so small that interference from other RF sources is highly unlikely.
Bluetooth is a robust communication system.
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