Bluetooth wireless standard set

The standards board of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Standards Association approved the communications "Bluetooth" specification for wireless personal area networks, the board announced March 21.

The standard will help foster wider adaptability of wireless communications in small electronic devices, such as printers and handheld computers.

"The new standard gives the Bluetooth [specification] greater validity and support in the market and is an additional resource for those who implement Bluetooth devices," said Ian Gifford, working group vice chair for the standard, officially known as IEEE 802.15.

The Bluetooth specification establishes a communications standard for sending data to and from small, low-cost wireless radio communications devices, such as notebook and handheld computers, consumer electronics, personal digital assistants, cellular phones and other portable, handheld devices.

The institute licensed wireless technology from the Bluetooth Special Interest Group Inc., a coalition of Bluetooth-enabled device makers, such as 3Com Corp., Santa Clara, Calif.; IBM Corp., Armonk, N.Y.; Intel Corp. Santa Clara; Microsoft Corp., Redmond, Wash., and Motorola Inc., Schaumburg, Ill.

Although many Bluetooth-enabled devices are already on the market, a good number of purchasers and original equipment manufacturers remain wary of network products that aren't built to open industry standards, fearing inoperability with future editions.

Robert McFarland, vice president and general manager of the government sector of Dell Computer Corp., Round Rock, Texas, told Washington Technology that Dell would not consider incorporating a product into its offerings unless the technology is based on open industry standards, such as those endorsed by the IEEE.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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