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"Bluetooth" - Interview with IBM


Written on: March 18, 2001 

Written by: Merc


I was seeking more information regarding “Bluetooth” so I decided the best thing to do was to track down a Executive from one of the companies in the Bluetooth “Promoter Group” and get a interview. I choose IBM and got in contact with Ron Sperano, Program Director for Mobile Market Development for IBM and shot a few questions his way. Check it out below


1. First of all if you can tell me your name and position?

My name is Ron Sperano, Program Director for Mobile Market Development

 2. What is this Bluetooth Mumble Jumble stuff? If someone older not really into technology were to ask you how would you explain it to them? And how about someone that was really up on technology how would you explain it to them?

I would explain it the same way!  It is a universal way of connecting devices to other devices without having to worry about the physical connection.  I would be able to connect a cell phone, a printer, a PDA, a keyboard, a mouse - you get the picture - to my ThinkPad over Bluetooth, which is a wireless replacement for cable connection.  Most notebook computers have infrared.  This can be used to connect to other IR equipped devices to send data.  IR is based on light waves.  Its fast but it has some problems.  It needs line of sight to connect and it can only talk to one other device at a time.  Bluetooth is based on radio frequency.  The signals are omnidirectional and it can connect to seven devices at once!

3. What are the companies involved in Bluetooth and are you working close with them? 

The original founders of the Bluetooth SIG are IBM, Toshiba, Ericsson, Nokia and Intel.  In 1999 3Com, Motorola, Lucent and Microsoft joined and we all came to be called the Bluetooth promoter group.  We are all actively engaged in the marketing and technical aspect of the specification.  In addition there are some 2000 adopter companies who have indicated that they will provide Bluetooth services, software and or hardware over time.

 4. How do you see Bluetooth changing (for the better or worse) us in the next ten years? 

The promise of Bluetooth is simple - improve the user experience.  Imagine walking into your office and being connected to all your peripherals; just by being in proximity of them.  Furthermore if you have a ThinkPad, a cell phone and a WorkPad you undoubtedly have PIM functions on one or all of these devices.  Bluetooth will automatically synchronize the PIMs so you won't have to!  Over the next 10 years Bluetooth may indeed bring universal connectivity to your personal space.  It may also affect the way we shop.

Imagine walking through a shopping mall that has Bluetooth Access Points. I have my Bluetooth enabled WorkPad with a list of items I am shopping for. My WorkPad is in communications with the APs so I can be notified which stores have the items I am interested in!  One thing is for sure; we do not quite know how Bluetooth will affect our daily lives, but we know it will!


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