This story was written by Keith Dawson for the Industry Standard's Media Grok email newsletter. It is archived here for informational purposes only because The Standard's site is no more. This material is Copyright 1999-2001 by Standard Media.

Bluetooth Gets Real
Jun 13 2000 12:00 AM PDT

They picked a great name for an arcane technology standard. "Bluetooth" is amusing, memorable and, for northern Europeans, steeped in history.

The point of Bluetooth is to let devices talk effortlessly over short distances without cables or wires. The technology has been six years in the making, dogged by concerns over the cost of embedding spread-spectrum wireless gear into chips.

This week the Bluetooth Congress hit Monte Carlo, and the mainstream press paid attention, because the companies behind the standard started to announce real products, some of them even sporting delivery dates. Several outlets quoted Cahners analyst Joyce Putscher, who has estimated the 2001 Bluetooth chip market at $1 billion.

The Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal ran short, bylined pieces about Motorola's announcement Monday of Bluetooth deals with IBM and Toshiba covering products for cell phones, handheld computers and desktops. The BBC and ZDNet surveyed the field more broadly.

CNET seemed to be first out with the news that Broadcom intends to buy Bluetooth chipmaker Innovent for $440 million in stock. Most early Bluetooth products are large enough to require a PC card, but Innovent is half a year ahead of the field with economical Bluetooth-on-a-chip technology, according to CNET.

And in case you were wondering, BBC News Online's Mark Ward told us that the technology is named after King Harald Bluetooth, who "preferred talking to fighting." King Harald, who united Denmark and Norway in the 10th century, was said to be inordinately fond of blueberries. - Keith Dawson

Bluetooth Products Roll Out
BBC News

Big Players Want a Bite Out of Bluetooth

Motorola Plans 'Bluetooth' Products (AP)
Washington Post

Motorola Releases Products That Use Bluetooth Technology
Wall Street Journal
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Broadcom to Acquire Bluetooth Chipmaker Innovent