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Bluetooth May Enable Video By 2008

3/28/2006 12:07:00 PM Eastern

Bellevue, Wash. — The Bluetooth special interest group (SIG) said it hopes to develop a new Bluetooth specification that will allow wireless video streaming from one device to another, via ultra-wideband (UWB), to be in consumer products by early 2008.

The new version of Bluetooth would allow users to wirelessly transfer large amounts of data as well as high-quality video and audio for portable devices, multimedia projectors and television sets. At the same time, it will continue to allow the wireless connections of low power devices such as mice, keyboards and mono headsets, “thereby offering the best of both worlds,” said the group.

The Bluetooth SIG estimates that a specification will be finalized in 2007, with prototype samples ready towards the end of 2007 and the first products offering the new Bluetooth bandwidth in early 2008.

The new Bluetooth products would not only stream video, but could also stream stereo audio and data at a much faster rate than current Bluetooth stereo devices, said the group. At present, a cellphone may stream music to a Bluetooth headset, but with the new radios, the cellphone could quickly transfer an entire music collection wirelessly to a computer or other device, said the SIG.

The new Bluetooth radios would also be backwards compatible with current Bluetooth devices, which now number 500 million and are expected to exceed 1 billion by the time the new radios ship, said Michael Foley, executive director of the Bluetooth SIG.

Foley stated that current Bluetooth radios are gaining rapid acceptance. “There are now 50 models and makes of cars where you can get Bluetooth installed,” he said.

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