Attempting to match the hype that precedes the unveiling of an actual product, vendors demonstrating gear that utilises emerging Bluetooth standards will grab a lion's share of the spotlight at this week's Comdex IT extravaganza in Las Vegas.
The new Bluetooth specification, which creates wireless links among mobile devices within a range of 10 metres, has garnered widespread industry support but has yet to make a large-scale market debut.
The market is projected to explode in future years, with 1.4 billion Bluetooth-enabled products expected worldwide by 2005, according to market watchers Cahners-InStat.
Seeking to illustrate Bluetooth's readiness for real world applications, leading vendors will conduct joint demonstrations of Bluetooth functionality applied to hotel check-in and other guest services.
A Handspring Visor equipped with a plug-in card using Bluetooth technology will perform various wireless functions such as checking in guests, unlocking doors, and accessing data.
In addition, Bluetooth-enabled printing will be shown using Hewlett Packard’s OfficeJet printer. Meanwhile, a Bluetooth-enabled wireless headset from GN Netcom will be used to link reception to a guest room using Bluetooth technology and voice over IP technology.
IBM ThinkPads with Bluetooth-compatible PC Cards will also perform wireless data transmissions and printing.
Such cooperation helps to further Bluetooth, said Joyce Putscher, director of consumer and converging markets at Cahners-InStat.
"Alliances and partnerships are a very important aspect of Bluetooth [development] not only on the silicon equipment side but also for software and services," Putscher said. "There are a lot of partnerships and alliances in process now."