The short-distance wireless standard Bluetooth is one of the most hyped themes of this year's CeBit IT trade show but, while there are some intriguing practical applications for end users on display, working devices are still few in number and most are not yet available for retail sale.

A good example is C Technologies' Magic Stick, a Bluetooth-enabled electronic wand containing a digital camera that can take and transmit photographs or scanned text.

The device is intended for scanning names and addresses directly into an electronic address book. It could also ease e-commerce transactions by enabling a user to scan the URL from a printed advertisement, to an internet access device that would instantly call up the proper site.

"It's a concept product," said Mans Thisted, C Technologies' mobile phones chief, explaining that his company does not plan to sell the device under its own name. "We are talking to various OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) about producing and bundling it with laptops, PDAs or mobile phones."

Thisted expects the Magic Stick to hit the shelves at the end of 2001, priced "probably" at around $300, he said.