Could it be that the trekkies were right all along?   Everywhere you look, from hallways to highways, people are sharing information and staying connected using nothing more than tiny digital devices.  While it’s not quite the same as transporting ourselves from traffic jam to boardroom at the push of a button, Bluetooth devices are surely the next best things.

Bluetooth is becoming more and more ordinary in PDAs, notebooks and especially cell phones, providing wireless users with a new means to transmit small amounts of data over short distances.  But Bluetooth isn’t the only kid in the sandbox; it’s now facing stiff competition from new wireless technology.  Referred to as Ultra Wideband or UWB, this new option promises a data transfer of up to 480 MB a second — while most current Bluetooth devices transfer data up to 721 KB a second.

For a while, Bluetooth devices have become the must-have accessories of the up-and-coming corporate set.  Here are some of the most popular accessories featuring Bluetooth technology:

Talk to the Dash
A CCM Blue Warrior car kit pairs with a cell phone to become a great speaker phone that plugs into the power adapter of your car.  The Noise-canceling microphone efficiently lessens background noise, and large buttons make it easy to adjust the speaker volume.  Far from being sleek and sexy, the Blue Warrior is all about practicality.

Take a Note
With Nokia’s SU-1B digital pen, you can make hand-written notes in ink on a special pad, and then transmit those notes from the pad to your Bluetooth phone.  The pen is a very handy substitute to typing on a cell phone keypad, but it is a pricey toy.

Teeny Tuning Box
A hybrid of an MP3 player and a hands-free phone, the compact and lightweight Sony HBM-30 is an attractive gadget that allows you accept calls while minimizing the interruption of your tunes.  When you get an incoming call, the Sony HBM-30 automatically pauses your music.  You then speak into a built-in microphone worn around your neck or clipped to your clothes.

Picture This
Nokia’s SU-2 image viewer allows you make slide shows with your camera photos, displaying the pictures on a TV or projector.  Simply hook this Bluetooth device to your TV’s input with the built in cable, beam the photos to the SU-2 from your Bluetooth-enabled phone, and let the photo fun begin.  This device is easy to set up and use, but it displays resolutions of up to 640 by 480.  If yours is a newer phone that takes higher resolution photos, you won’t be able to use the Nokia SU-2 image viewer.  Remember that no matter what you do, the 640 by 480 pixel photos will appear blocky on TV screens.  Nokia claims you can use sequentially beamed shots and creating a slide show from a batch of photos.

Bluetooth devices have made it easy and convenient to transmit data very quickly and efficiently from Point “A” to Point “B”.  Mr. Spock would be pleased.

Filed under: New