It's here. Bluetooth 2.0 is showing up in new devices and bringing some advances over the original standard with it. Bluetooth has been knocked for having somewhat slow transfer speeds with large data files. Bluetooth 2.0 aims to get over that hurdle by tripling the optimum bandwidth to 3Mbps. Since data will transfer faster, users should also see improvements in the battery life of their 2.0 devices.
IOGearwas one of the first to market late last year with Bluetooth 2.0 USB adapters for desktop and notebook PCs and Macs. They're avail-able in Class 1 (330-foot range) for $49.95 and Class 2 (66-foot range) for $39.95. Bluetooth 2.0 is backward- compatible with earlier ver-sions, so you won't have to replace any Bluetooth tech-nology you already have.
Eventually, look for Bluetooth and emerging wireless technology ultra-wideband, or UWB, to merge. Bluetooth's governing body, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group, has already announced plans to develop a Bluetooth version with UWB operating characteristics to improve both bandwidth and power management. To find out more about UWB technology, see "The Near Future" at right.
Loud and Clear
A new system tunes up cell coverage in your building.
Now that mobile phones are an indispensable entrepreneurial tool, good cellular coverage is important no matter where you are.
Coverage areas keep growing, but dropped calls and interference are still too frequent, especially inside large buildings. Spotwavehas a solution for indoor coverage problems. The SpotCell adaptive coverage system consists of a unit that is mounted outdoors facing the nearest cell tower, and an indoor coverage unit. More than one indoor unit can be installed as needed. The system is carrier-approved and designed not to interfere with wireless networks. Pricing starts at less than $400 for spaces up to 2,500 square feet. Systems cost less than $1,000 for buildings up to 5,000 square feet. For larger areas, enterprise-level systems are available.
A solution like SpotCell is especially handy for entrepreneurs who have ditched landlines in favor of wireless phones. Users of the new cellular broadband data services on their laptops could make use of improved indoor coverage as well. The system is carrier-specific, so it will work best in office environments where everyone uses the same cellular carrier. Check Spotwave's website to see if your carrier is supported.