Bluetooth is a pretty convenient standard because it allows your mobile phone to quickly and easily pair with a variety of devices, including headsets and even your home computer. Unfortunately, Bluetooth is far from being the fastest wireless protocol on the block and thus, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) has decided to take advantage of 802.11 technology.
As you know, IEEE 802.11 is a technology that is already present in many devices that demand greater speeds. We make expensive use of WiFi to connect our computers, surf the web, and do all sorts of speedy wireless transfers, especially when you hop up to the 802.11n draft spec. (When are they going to ratify that thing?) By taking advantage of 802.11 in tandem with the convenience of Bluetooth, users are able to use this two-phased approach for extra speedy transfers.
“This is the wireless technology equivalent of ‘low hanging fruit,’ ” said Michael Foley, Ph.D., executive director, the Bluetooth SIG. “What we’re doing is taking classic Bluetooth connections — using Bluetooth protocols, profiles, security and other architectural elements — and allowing it to jump on top of the already present 802.11 radio, when necessary, to send bulky entertainment data, faster. When the speed of 802.11 is overkill, the connection returns to normal operation on a Bluetooth radio for optimal power management and performance.”