I’m singing the Bluetooth blues…or is it I’m thinking of the Bluetooth SIG (Special Interest Group)? Every year at this time the Bluetooth SIG hold an annual press event to showcase the newest products and innovations using Bluetooth wireless technology. Last week, I attended the event with managed expectations.
I say this because in years past I had hoped to see something “different,” but each time I’d really just see more of the same. I’ve lost track on whether I did this three or four times in the past. Maybe it is because this event usually has the same companies in the same room at New York’s Tavern on the Green. The breakfast menu is the same…but truth be told many press events blur together, yet I always remember the standout products.
My question is, “Why aren’t we seeing more done with Bluetooth?” There are a few Bluetooth-enabled keyboards and mice, but a few years ago there was the promise of a Bluetooth office with printers/scanners and PDAs, where wires wouldn’t be necessary. Bring a laptop or PDA into the network area and data could be shared seamlessly. Yes, these things are coming, but all the hype seems to be on headphones and earbuds. And it makes me tune out.
The problem with Bluetooth in this reporter’s opinion is that the technology has a great deal of promise, but every year I’m only seeing the latest hands free devices for mobile phones. There are an endless variety of earpieces, and for the last two (or was it three) years I’ve seen countless headphones.
OK, so this year desktop wireless speakers standout, which Samsung, Logitech and BlueAnt were each introducing. But I’m not impressed by the Bluetooth technology with these, and actually am thinking of how these would be great speakers for PC gaming instead. I see these as good for people who set up an extra computer for multiplayer gaming. The stereo speaker bar could sit in front of the monitor and would connect to a computer with a single wire.
Obviously the makers are thinking of something different, but what they offer isn’t any more practical than how I’d use the speakers. In fact, the pitch is that this speaker bar could sync to your Bluetooth-enabled MP3 player or mobile phone to stream music. While it could work as a speakerphone, music was on the mind of the various makers.
But here is where a device clearly has no practical use for where it was intended. Unless you have an office where you can close the door, the speaker is probably too loud to use in a cubicle or open office environment—where headphones would be more ideal. And as a home application there are already plenty of docking station that will actually charge your device while streaming the music. It was suggested that these products could be for “on the go,” such as a picnic or for use in a hotel. Playing music through your phone via Bluetooth will no doubt ensure you run the battery down, so that seems rather silly. And if I need to listen to music in a hotel room I don’t need to lug around an extra speaker system to do so!