Bluetooth offers the convenience of wireless without the interference encountered by traditional 802.11 wireless devices in addition to a much higher level of security. Bluetooth devices create a secure Personal Area Network (PAN) using Personal IDentification numbers (PIDs) and high levels of encryption to offset any interference from such devices as cordless telephones while increasing security.
While the idea of no interference is extremely exciting, this technology does come with a price. Bluetooth technology is intended for short distances. The range of a bluetooth wireless device currently reaches about 10 meters or 30 feet. Traditional 802.11 wireless devices achieve much further ranges of connectivity, usually around 40 meters or 120 feet.
Bluetooth is designed to be compatible across a range of very different operating systems and devices, including things that you would not normally think of as being 'computer' type items - for example, some types of headset. Bluetooth networking can enable the headset to connect with other devices such as your phone, your MP3 player, your computer, or your PDA. Bluetooth can also help different devices to communicate with each other. For example, you might have a phone, a PDA, and a computer. If all three devices have Bluetooth capabilities, then (with the appropriate software on each device) you can probably share contact information between all three devices quickly and conveniently. And you can look up a phone number on your PDA (or laptop) and then place a call direct from the laptop or PDA, without needing to touch your cellphone.
As you may have surmised, the range of a bluetooth device makes this technology perfect for your personal interaction with your computing devices instead of a networking type of technology.
Bluetooth has been slow to become accepted in the market, but now is starting to become increasingly prevalent. Prices are falling and increasing numbers of devices are offering Bluetooth connectivity.
Devices that are starting to have Bluetooth connectivity built in include :
Digital cameras and camcorders Keyboards and Mice
Scanners In-car handsfree kits
Cell Phones GPS navigation receivers
PDAs Home appliances (microwaves, washers, driers, refrigerators)