UWB Bluetooth Picked to Link Home Devices

Many of the worlds largest electronics firms have agreed to use forthcoming WiMedia UWB (ultra-wideband) Bluetooth wireless technology to distribute high-quality video and other data between home electronics devices like televisions, camcorders, music systems, and computers. The announcement marks an agreement between the WiMedia Alliance and the Bluetooth SIG; backers include major industry players like Nokia, Microsoft, Ericsson, Intel, IBM, Motorola, HP, Intel, Kodak, Philips, Samsung, Sony, Texas Instruments and Nokia and Toshiba.

The agreement should enable widespread regulatory acceptance of high data-rate Bluetooth solutions by utilizing unlicensed radio spectrum above 6 GHz, bypassing concerns from regulatory agencies in Europe and Asia. In theory, the agreement may lead to standardized short-range wireless communications between devices regardless of manufacturer.

UWB Bluetooth should offer more than 100 times the bandwidth of today’s Bluetooth solutions, which are largely restricted to voice data and limited data exchange with host computers (such as synchronizing calendar and contact information between computers and smartphones). The new technology should open new markets in transferring music, television programming, movies, multimedia, and other high-bandwidth content wirelessly over short distances within homes and organizations.

The Bluetooth SIG and WiMedia Alliance said they should have examples of the technology available for prototype testing within a year, with the first UWB Bluetooth devices reaching consumers by 2008.