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Bluetooth Takes Another Bite

Techstination feature for Friday, June 7, 2002

Bluetooth takes another bite. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. It's that new wireless technology with an odd name. Bluetooth is technology designed to eliminate the need for wires between things like cell phones and headsets and PDAs and PCs. So far... it has been slow to arrive and expensive. 3com is hoping to push things along with a new Bluetooth Printing Kit. Product manager Troy Holtby...

"The printing kit is a self contained solution in a box where you can go to the store, grab this box off the shelf, take it home, and you have everything you need in order to set up an instant wireless networking solution for printing in the home or in the office."

Hooking up a printer using a USB or parallel cable isn't all that difficult. Why the need for Bluetooth?

"It has a couple of advantages. It helps eliminate some of the clutter of cables which is one of the promises of Bluetooth. But more importantly, it enables you to do multiple printer sharing. If, for example, you have a color printer and a black and white laser printer in your office, you can instantly share those without having to worry about swapping cables back and forth."

The kit includes a Bluetooth adaptor that attaches to just about any printer... and another adaptor that plugs into the USB port of a PC or notebook running a recent version of Windows. The problem is price..the kit sells for 250 dollars. But...

"Pricing on Bluetooth products will drop relatively quickly as volumes increase to allow manufacturers to realize economies of scale."

So unless you have a real need for wireless now... it might be better to wait until Bluetooth takes a little less green. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.