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Developers’ Conference Report

December saw the latest Bluetooth Developers’ Conference held at the Moscone Centre, San Francisco.  The Wireless Directory members who attended the event have kindly provided us with their views in answer to the questions we asked them recently.

Did you attend the Bluetooth Pavilion at the Consumer Electronics Show in LA January 8-11th ?   If so, please mail your views on the most significant products and demos at that event – if we receive a good response we may compile another similar report for our members. 

Most Significant Developments or New Products?
Overall the most significant development at the conference was the general feeling of a significantly increasing number of product developments that are actually finishing and ready for shipping.  It was felt that 2002 would see a significant increase in interoperable Bluetooth products reaching the consumer, with a mass market beginning to become an increasing reality.

Other significant developments included the level of Bluetooth integration in the automotive environment, particularly the Visteon BMW solution, which showed "real-world" Bluetooth.

How were New Products received ?
Nokia showed its new European model Nokia 6310 Bluetooth-enabled phone and new Bluetooth headset and car kit accessories. The audio accessories were quite well received, as they are proof of the general market applications that Bluetooth enables.

TTPCom showed a number of new solutions including: Bluetooth integrated with GSM/GPRS, MIPS based SoC DDK and a complete headset inside the Alcatel Bluetooth baseband device, these products all received significant interest.

There were also a few nice innovations using Bluetooth at the conference, one of these was the Toshiba SD card making handhelds Bluetooth enabled.

Most Effective Demos ?
The general consensus was the demos showing the hardware and software working together in a finished product were the best.

If there was one area that was felt to the best this was the c
ompanies in relation with cars and games and particularly Visteon's demo.

As expected there were many good demos, that it is hard to pick one - however, seeing products made by different companies doing different demos was very effective in showing Bluetooth's interoperability.

Best and Worse things about the Conference ?
The best things about the conference included:
- The wealth of new, ready to ship products
- Chance to meet up with partners
- The quality of some of the talks
- The quality of the organisation of the conference

The worst things about the conference included:
- Limited hours of the exhibition 
- The extra cost to attend talks 
- Concern that some company-sponsored talks were something of a sales show
- The lack of attendees (likely to be due to recent events - September 11th Hijacking)
- SIG Profile Meetings - they needed more structure and coordination

The "Low Power Design for Bluetooth Wireless Technology" and "Security-Is it as good as it can be". The low power talk was clear, organized and gave engineering-relevant information. The security talk was upfront and dealt with issues that every one was concerned about. Another talk that we received positive feedback on was SiliconWave's power consumption talk which looked at the coexistence between .11b & Bluetooth.  

Interoperability – Progress or Demos ?
A high degree of interoperability was seen at the conference generally. However there are still a number of serious issues to address. It seemed that 50% of the time there were no problems (better than previous conferences). 

It was felt that the best approach to dealing with interoperability problems was to make sure that products with current Bluetooth products as seen by Bandspeed.
Other thoughts and concerns ?
There were also a number of other concerns raised by The Wireless Directory members as a result of the Developers Conference. 

The first was a general negative feeling towards Bluetooth SIG in a number of areas. Firstly, for the industry's lack of evangelism towards the consumer about Bluetooth. Secondly, the need for a more aggressive stance against competing technologies. Thirdly, the amount of hype and lack of realistic realistic articles/PR generated by Bluetooth SIG, which if realistic would actually help Bluetooth to head off doom and gloom stories and to show the efforts being made to address the main issues of the technology. 

Another concern was the attitude of Microsoft towards the rest of the industry and their rather self-serving support of Bluetooth. They've decided what is best for the customer at the expense of supporting things like the Serial Port Profile which enables legacy applications.

Overall the main issues raised for Bluetooth to address as a result of the conference over the next year is the need for:
- Evangelism of the technology to the consumer
- Cost issues
- Interoperability
- Usability
- Security in certain areas

The Wireless Directory would like to thank the following companies who attended the conference and contributed inputs: 
Centurion, Cetecom, Code Blue Communications, Nokia, Rappore Technologies, Transilica and TTPcom.

The Wireless Directory would also like to thank our website corporate sponsors:
Code Blue Communications, Inventel, Philips, RTX Telecom, Wiley – serving the global Bluetooth industry.

The Wireless Directory is a free online community for marketing, engineering and other Bluetooth professionals in the telecommunications, consumer electronics and other application industry businesses. It provides free industry news, much provided by our own members, and a forum for community members to interact and obtain specific information.

Note to Journalists and Webmasters: This article may be copied and used on other websites as long as the whole article is used in its entirety, including details about The Wireless Directory and its sponsors.


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Last modified: Wednesday December 03, 2003.

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