Vendors simplify Bluetooth connectivity

Palmsource, the operating system arm of Palm and BVRP Software Group, announced at the CTIA conference in Las Vegas that it will...

Palmsource, the operating system arm of Palm and BVRP Software Group, announced at the CTIA conference in Las Vegas that it will make Bluetooth devices simpler for the end-user to operate.

The complexity of configuring a Bluetooth-enabled notebook or handheld to work with a Bluetooth-enabled mobile phone behaving as if it were a modem was lost amid the hype surrounding Bluetooth.

"The user needs to install and configure drivers to make the phone look like an Internet device; otherwise the OS won't know how to handle it," said Bob Lang, president of the mobile middleware software vendor BVRP.

BVRP unveiled at the conference its Mobile PhoneTools software that when installed on a notebook will allow users to click on the PhoneTools connectivity Wizard that simplifies the process to set up the phone to be used as modem to one click, said Lang.

Palmsource made a similar Bluetooth interoperability announcement, confining itself, however, to Sony/Ericsson phones and any Palm OS device using Bluetooth.

According to Albert Chu, vice-president of business development at Palmsource, the Bluetooth spec was purposely left broad enough so that vendors could differentiate their solutions. However, this also meant that each implementation is different enough that each device has its own unique way of connecting, and the vendors will have to tackle that issue one device at a time.

The Palmsource solution, which will be available by the first quarter, hopes to create an "out-of-the-box compatibility between the two companies' devices", said Chu.

Chu added that without such software, configuring a mobile phone as modem to work with a handheld is a daunting task.

BVRP's Mobile PhoneTools is available now and will be distributed through deals with carriers, through retail at $59.99 (£39), or licensed with volume discounts to enterprise-level customers.

BVRP's Lang also said that each device must be configured separately, but that Mobile PhoneTools already has been configured to work with more than 500 handsets.

One industry analyst said that there are many problems with wireless connections, but at least BVRP is taking care of its slice of the market.

Both the BVRP and Palmsource solutions are aimed at the 2.5G and 3G market.

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