Tuesday, April 27, 2010

WirelessWars: Bluetooth is dying?

I'd always wondered why people put in both WiFi and bluetooth on the same device when they're both wireless communication tools with the unique feature being that the former is high speed while the latter is less power consuming.

Presently we use bluetooth to pair with personal devices like mice and headsets while we use for wifi for data transfers and such. The thing is WiFi it self has the ability to connect with personal devices but what's stopping its usage is that it cannot talk to other wifi devices and a router simultaneously. If we do try to do this the latency would be so much that you might have to wait for your keystrokes to show up on the screen in case your using a keyboard. And that's where Osmo Devices comes in.

Osmo has coded a software patch that allows the laptops wifi to communicate to other wifi devices in minute packets while allowing it to continue with the router the rest of the time. But this reduces data rate to 9 megabits/sec. Another potential problem faced by wifi users is the battery consumption - WiFi might reduce uptime by up to half for most handheld devices with their itsy-bitsy battery packs.

To answer the question-title, there's no way bluetooth is gonna say goodbye. It's like the Symbian OS, flawed but has been deployed too wide to be taken out easily.

Courtesy IEEE Spectrum

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