The High-Speed Bluetooth standard, scheduled for released in mid-2009 as Bluetooth version 2.2 by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group, will increase data transfer rates by up to 100 times and offer Bluetooth-enabled handsets new applications, according to market researcher IMS Research. High-Speed Bluetooth will work in conjunction with either WLAN or ultra wideband (UWB), and will be marketed as Bluetooth 10x and Bluetooth 100x, depending on the data rate.
Mobile handset users will be able to use the pairing and interoperability advantages of Bluetooth technology and the increased throughputs of WLAN or UWB for wireless video streaming to computers or set-top boxes, wireless printing, and wireless peer-to-peer content movement, among other applications. IMS Research projects penetration of both WLAN and UWB in handsets to grow over the next five years, making significant adoption of High-Speed Bluetooth in handsets a very plausible development over that time period.
“In handsets, Bluetooth 10x will likely come to market first, with volume shipments starting in 2010,” said IMS Research analyst Chris Schreck. “Because WLAN already has an established presence in handsets, and because it has a proven use case, we’ve seen most handset OEMs express an interest in utilizing the 10x version, at least initially. Furthermore, the device environment for WLAN is much more developed than the UWB environment, so handset OEMs may be waiting until there are a greater number of UWB-enabled devices before including UWB in a handset.”