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Bluetooth 4.0 To Reach Devices In Fourth Quarter

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the roll-it-out dept.

Technology 103

angry tapir writes "The Bluetooth 4.0 wireless specification could start to appear in devices such as headsets, smartphones and PCs by the fourth quarter, said the Bluetooth Special Interest Group. The new specification will be able to be used in lower-power devices than previous versions of the technology, including watches, pedometers, smart meters and other gadgets that run on coin-cell batteries."

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First (0, Offtopic)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#31356924)

Frist post with blutoo%$ @
no carrier

Not Pedometers! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31356930)

Not Pedometers! Won't somebody think of the children??

Re:Not Pedometers! (2, Funny)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#31356976)

Quite the opposite: You want to have as many meters as possible between a child and a pedo.

Re:Not Pedometers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31357004)

Actually, they'd probably go for a meter with which to detect a pedo...

Re:Not Pedometers! (2, Funny)

aylons (924093) | more than 4 years ago | (#31359578)

Just the opposite: every children should carry a pedometer. Then, when an individual with a high pedo degree approaches, it beeps on alert.

Re:Not Pedometers! (2, Funny)

davester666 (731373) | more than 4 years ago | (#31360702)

If such a device could be made, then children would make a game out of getting it to beep the loudest...

Re:Not Pedometers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31360154)

Not Pedometers! Won't somebody think of the children??

If they thought of grown ups they wouldn't be pedos now would they.

Time to retire IR for remotes (4, Interesting)

Darth Sdlavrot (1614139) | more than 4 years ago | (#31356952)

My brand new TV and Blueray player still use IR remotes -- essentially the same tech as was used in the TV and VCR I bought 25 years ago - and it still sucks hind tit.

We've had BT for years now -- it's time for manufacturers to join the 21st century.

Re:Time to retire IR for remotes (4, Insightful)

Fusen (841730) | more than 4 years ago | (#31356992)

Even with BT 4.0, I'd love to see a power usage comparison, I'm sure IR would easily win.

Re:Time to retire IR for remotes (1, Insightful)

datapharmer (1099455) | more than 4 years ago | (#31357180)

seriously, I can watch the battery on my cellphone die when the bluetooth is on.

Re:Time to retire IR for remotes (1)

damaki (997243) | more than 4 years ago | (#31357440)

I can't. I am using BT 2.x...

Re:Time to retire IR for remotes (4, Informative)

ircmaxell (1117387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31357356)

Well, what would be cool is if the spec allowed for dynamically powered devices. So the device would constantly modulate the power output to keep it just high enough to maintain connection. So if the default output is 2.5 mW (the actual output for a class 2 device), it could scale that back to save on power. So if the connected device is close enough, it could run at 0.25 mW as long as the connection is maintained. This would only work well if the modulation circuit was fast enough (otherwise if you increased the power needed faster than it could respond it would simply lose connection).

There are 2 main reasons (as far as I can see) that bluetooth will always use more power than IR. First, is that turning electrical impulses to IR is a lot more efficient (using a LED) than turning electrical impulses into a EMF via an antenna (2.4 ghz has a wavelength of 12.5 cm. So the antenna needs to be either a 1/4 wavelength or a folded design to fit in a portable device). Second, is that unlike IR, bluetooth has frequency hopping built right in. So bluetooth has to have an extra layer of active processing to watch for interference on a channel, and jump to another one (this happens at around 1.6khz)... IR takes no measures against interference. Get someone with a common TV remote (assuming same frequency band) and they can disrupt your IR communication. So the power usage is definitely a tradeoff...

Re:Time to retire IR for remotes (2, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 4 years ago | (#31357624)

You can't compete with IR if you need a constant radio link. The beauty of IR is that when no button is being pressed there is no need to transmit or receive anything so it can power down to using a few micro-amps.

Bluetooth has to maintain a connection between the devices so you are never going to get years out of a single set of batteries like you can with IR.

Re:Time to retire IR for remotes (1)

SenseiLeNoir (699164) | more than 4 years ago | (#31358366)

I dont know about that, I have the Bluetooth BD remote for the PS3, and I tend to change the batteries every 6 months to one year. (so far 2 times in 2 years). The controllers dont last as long, granted, but the remote with its twin AA batteries does seem to last quite a bit.

Re:Time to retire IR for remotes (1)

anss123 (985305) | more than 4 years ago | (#31359716)

I dare say that's pretty frequent for a remote.

Re:Time to retire IR for remotes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31361608)

Yeah, about a year is what a normal TV remote takes. Actually, this says a lot about the technology; a TV remote is used daily and several times at that. It can outlast this other remote, which is used a lot less. Thatn's proof of perceived efficiency loss

Re:Time to retire IR for remotes (1)

ircmaxell (1117387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31359562)

Bluetooth doesn't need to maintain a constant connection for one-way communication... Since it's only one way, you can "sleep" the transmitter on the remote, and only wake it up and pair it when a button is pressed (and for say 30 seconds afterward). It would add a slight lag to the initial key press, but my guess would be if designed right it would be quite quick (potentially 1/4 of a second or less)...

Re:Time to retire IR for remotes (1)

svirre (39068) | more than 4 years ago | (#31377148)

Within bluetooth space, BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) might see some use in remote controls. This protocol variant have a facility to keep end nodes silent except when they are used.

However RF4CE (Now zigbee rf4ce, or zigbee for consumer electronics), a standard built on top of IEEE 802.15.4 currently seems to have a lot more traction in becoming the standard that replaces IR remotes.

Don't worry too much about the energy cost in listen-before-talk or channel hopping. This only happes whenever the remote sends a packet, which will be very sparse in comparison to idle time. The most critical power consumption factor is the idle currents as the components sit in their lowest standby state waiting for the user to press a button.

Re:Time to retire IR for remotes (1)

Slayer (6656) | more than 4 years ago | (#31359984)

The power consumption of such a device has little to do with the output power as long as RF output power is in the small mW range. Things like receiver, oscillators and frequency hopping logic require so much power all the time that it almost doesn't matter whether the module transmits at all.

That's the huge advantage of IR: you put all the brains into the receiver (which is powered from a wall outlet) and can keep the transmitter extremely simple and running only when a button is pressed (as AmiMoJo already mentioned).

Re:Time to retire IR for remotes (1)

Alef (605149) | more than 4 years ago | (#31363416)

You forgot one huge fundamental difference between the two: IR remotes emit photons in a narrow cone directed towards the device, whereas a Bluetooth transmitter sends its energy in every direction, wasting most of it. This alone makes up for a couple of orders of magnitude in energy.

Re:Time to retire IR for remotes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31359106)

So put a little photovoltaic area on it, like those old pocket calculators used to have. Would that be enough to keep the connection alive AND store up some excess charge to keep it going overnight?

Re:Time to retire IR for remotes (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31360964)

It might not be as big a difference as you think. A pair of cheap AAA batteries last about a year of modest use in my portable bluetooth keyboard. It gets a lot more button presses in a year than a typical remote control. The problem is that it takes about two seconds to associate with the computer. That's fine for a keyboard, because you connect, type a lot, and then disconnect. It's not great for a remote control where you often just want to send one button press and then go back into the low power mode. An IR device only uses power when you send the data, a Bluetooth one uses power to create the connection. Bluetooth doesn't really make sense for a remote control, although a bluetooth remote control profile would be a nice thing for home electronics devices to support, so you could control them from a computer (and each other - press play on the DVD player and have it select the DVD player channel on the TV automatically).

Re:Time to retire IR for remotes (3, Interesting)

baka_toroi (1194359) | more than 4 years ago | (#31357006)

I once posted about that (Not in Slashdot) and someone told me it wouldn't be feasible, because of the time it takes to do the pairing and because you'd have to have a constant link between the devices, even if the TV is off (because you wouldn't be able to turn it on). Please, someone with more knowledge, enlighten us.

Re:Time to retire IR for remotes (2, Informative)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | more than 4 years ago | (#31357204)

As the following post to yours points out. PS3 controllers are Bluetooth enabled.

That being said, I know if my PS3 is not actually off when I press the PS button on the controller to turn it on. It goes into standby. Of course my TV goes into a standby mode too, so in theory I could have a similar setup for a TV remote.

Re:Time to retire IR for remotes (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 4 years ago | (#31358560)

But also note how if you don't touch a button on the PS3 controller for a few minutes, it shuts off and you have to wait for it to power back up and pair again. That's fine given how games work, but a TV remote is routinely left alone, but expected to work instantly when you want to change channels. Also, compare how often you have to recharge your PS3 controller to how often you have to charge/change batteries in your TV remote. Bluetooth is nice, but it sucks power. That's a lot of the reason for the 4.0 standard here.

Re:Time to retire IR for remotes (1)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | more than 4 years ago | (#31359390)

I agree. I would honestly be very annoyed if I had to wait 5-10 seconds for my remote to sync-up with my TV every time I put it down while I watched a show.

The plus to this situation could be that TVs could come with a USB port/holder for the remote. When not in use the remote could be dropped into the pocket for charging. My wife might not lose the remote so often if it had to be put back in the holder to charge it.

Re:Time to retire IR for remotes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31363538)

My wife might not lose the remote so often if it had to be put back in the holder to charge it.

Haha. You mean she's not only lose it but when you found it it'd be dead too !

Re:Time to retire IR for remotes (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31357238)

I once posted about that (Not in Slashdot) and someone told me it wouldn't be feasible, because of the time it takes to do the pairing and because you'd have to have a constant link between the devices, even if the TV is off (because you wouldn't be able to turn it on). Please, someone with more knowledge, enlighten us.

The PS3 does use Bluetooth for its remote control, and it's a point of contention among a lot of people. It absolutely has its pluses, but it does have some minuses, too. For instance, it sucks batteries dry. For most remotes in my house, I need to change the batteries every 3 or 4 years. For my PS3 remote, I'm changing them about once a year (sure, it's only a couple of bucks, but it's still kind of a pain).

What I want to know is why are so many people adamant about wanting Bluetooth for remotes when plain old RF remotes would work fine? Bluetooth is essentially RF with an encryption layer on top of it (which is why you need to pair devices). Do you really need your remote control signals to be encrypted?!?

Re:Time to retire IR for remotes (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31357474)

For simple remote control use, encryption is arguably overkill(at least until sinister antenna-studded Neilson vans start prowling around); but signing (or, at very least, a unique serial number or MAC address or something for the remote that your devices can associate with) isn't. Since RF propagates much better than IR through lots of common real-world obstacles, there is a considerable risk of one person's TV picking up somebody else's remote control commands, which could get annoying real fast. I've actually seen this happen with some of the cheaper RF based wireless keyboards. It wasn't a high security environment, so eavesdropping wasn't a concern; but when user A's keystrokes start popping up in the middle of the document that user B is trying to edit, people get upset. Much less common; but potentially much more annoying where they do occur, would be the RF equivalents of the "TVBGone" [tvbgone.com] . Unlike IR, where the list of suspects is confined to the line-of-sight cone of the TV, somebody with a decent omni antenna and a very-much-not-FCC-approved RF amp could blanket an entire neighborhood with spurious remote signals quite easily.

Serials/MACs would be enough to deal with spurious input caused by other users close by, or by RF noise; but would be vulnerable to malicious spoofing or replay attacks. Unless you were willing to just ignore that possibility(which, given the commercial existence and popularity of the TVBGone and its clones is probably a bad idea), you would pretty much need full cryptographic signing. At that point, if you are already doing a substantial amount of crypto stuff, why not spring for encryption as well, to address use cases where disclosure might not be a good thing? At that point, you are basically back to bluetooth, or something pretty similar...

Re:Time to retire IR for remotes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31357576)

What I want to know is why are so many people adamant about wanting Bluetooth for remotes when plain old RF remotes would work fine?

"Plain old" remotes aren't RF. They're IR. And, as a result, a lot more susceptible to interference.

That said... I agree with you. Even when there's enough interference to make the remote unreliable, it's rarely a major bother...

Re:Time to retire IR for remotes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31357746)

"Plain old" remotes aren't RF. They're IR. And, as a result, a lot more susceptible to interference.

That's why I said "plain old RF remotes would work fine". I'm well aware that the vast majority of remotes out there are IR and not RF. I'm also not implying that RF remotes are particularly common (though they are out there). The choice of words I used was deliberate to indicate a possible scenario that doesn't currently exist.

Re:Time to retire IR for remotes (1)

aug24 (38229) | more than 4 years ago | (#31357266)

I turn my BT headset on and off and it pairs with the phone, and I turn my phone on and off and it pairs with the headset.

If you suspend the TV, then the IR receiver keeps power. BT would be just the same. If you turn it off properly (like unplugging it) then nothing will turn it on again.

Logically, BT == IR.

Plus, I'd be able to find the fucking thing with that little blue light ;-)

Just.

Re:Time to retire IR for remotes (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 4 years ago | (#31358596)

How long does the battery last on your BT headset? Or your phone? Would you be ok with recharging your remote daily, otherwise it just wouldn't work? I dunno about you, but I change batteries in my remote about once every 6 months, and I have a nice Logitech Harmony (which lights up blue if it feels vibration and has sat still for a while, to your finding comment).

Re:Time to retire IR for remotes (2, Insightful)

cpicon92 (1157705) | more than 4 years ago | (#31357308)

That's easy to solve:
Use IR to turn on the TV, have the TV and remote couple after they both turn on. This way you'd only have to point the remote at the TV to turn it on.

Re:Time to retire IR for remotes (2, Interesting)

ircmaxell (1117387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31357430)

Or even easier. Have a small circuit in the TV that listens to bluetooth frequencies without actually decrypting it. When it detects an active signal, then have it power the full bluetooth module on for a few seconds. It powers on and tries to pair with the device. If it can pair, then it goes into "control" mode (with something like a 30 second timeout). If it can't, it goes back to sleep. Then, on the remote, you only need to enable bluetooth once you press a button. So when you press the power button, the remote first wakes up its bluetooth module, then attempts to pair with the tv. If it can pair, it then sends the "power on" signal to the tv. If it can't pair, it flashes a light or displays a message that "can't communicate with TV"... The whole process should be fast enough for most consumers (and it would only affect the power on of the TV, so even a 1 second delay would likely be tolerable).

Re:Time to retire IR for remotes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31357562)

You should send that idea to TV manufacturers.

Re:Time to retire IR for remotes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31358748)

TV manufacturers should browse /.

Re:Time to retire IR for remotes (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 4 years ago | (#31358762)

Doesn't bluetooth work on 2.4ghz with 802.11b/g? Love your idea, but I think it dies if there is a wireless network around (please correct me if I'm wrong!)

Re:Time to retire IR for remotes (1)

Randle_Revar (229304) | more than 4 years ago | (#31359986)

I have a 802.11g network, and a Bluetooth headset. The BT works fine.

Re:Time to retire IR for remotes (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 4 years ago | (#31360142)

I was referring to parent's idea that you have the TV listen on Bluetooth's spectrum (which it shared with 802.11b/g and key up the BT chipset when activity is detected on the 2.4ghz spectrum.

Re:Time to retire IR for remotes (1)

Randle_Revar (229304) | more than 4 years ago | (#31361126)

Oops, I see what you mean now. I didn't even see the parent the first time.

Re:Time to retire IR for remotes (1)

svirre (39068) | more than 4 years ago | (#31377194)

A TV can just run a RF module constantly, it only draws 10-40mA. If you want a bit more agressive power saving, you can duty cycle the RF module, by listen a few times pr. second. This way you can bring average current consumed while listening for RF commands down into 5uA on average

Re:Time to retire IR for remotes (1)

cpicon92 (1157705) | more than 4 years ago | (#31377258)

Considering this thing is constantly plugged into the wall anyway, does it really make such a big deal how much power it draws?

Re:Time to retire IR for remotes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31360262)

The main problem in existing bluetooth (up to 3.0) is that both devices have to hop through 20 connectable channels to find each other before a connection can be made. BT 4.0 only uses 3 connectable channels, so connect times are in the 50ms range. Additionally, once a connection is made, BT LE (4.0) allows for data transfer before setting up upper level protocols. A remote does not technically require any encryption, so you could easily have initial keypress in ~50ms, then maintain the connection for a short period of time to see if there are any follow ups, then disconnect.
A disconnected BT HID device can use ~15uA and wake on any button press.

The TV in this case can just leave it's BT radio on, but idle, and only wake the device on a connection attempt. This is the same as a Mac that is asleep or a PS3 until you hit the home button on the controller. Idle, but pageable BT controllers can use ~20mA or less.

Re:Time to retire IR for remotes (2, Interesting)

HopefulIntern (1759406) | more than 4 years ago | (#31357040)

This is why I use my PS3 for media. Then I can cuddle up in my sleepingbag and still have full control from within toasty goodness.

Re:Time to retire IR for remotes (4, Informative)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#31357174)

What's so bad about IR? I mean, except for the fact that most companies make remote controls which have to be held in a very narrow angle towards the device. But that's not a problem of IR per se; my first TV had an IR remote control where I wouldn't even have to point it vaguely in the direction of the TV.

Re:Time to retire IR for remotes (1)

konohitowa (220547) | more than 4 years ago | (#31359160)

What's so bad about IR?

Sounds like you need an annoying dog that insists on standing in front of the electronics rack at the precise moment that you're trying to stop that TiVo fast-forward. :)

Re:Time to retire IR for remotes (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 4 years ago | (#31368956)

IR works. Bluetooth...well, it needs support. You'd need to pair the device(s) and the TV, to ensure you don't affect other people's TV/devices (ie your neighbours). It needs more power. There are licenses to pay for. There'd be issues with the version of bluetooth, the stack used etc.

And after all that, you'd just have a remote control with which you can change channels, which you already have. So there's absolutely no point in doing it.

Re:Time to retire IR for remotes (1)

svirre (39068) | more than 4 years ago | (#31377204)

A two way RF remote can make sure that every key press is registered, istead of the push-button-until-tv-reacts method we use with IR remotes.

Re:Time to retire IR for remotes (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31380170)

My old Denon (AVR-1700) amplifier’s remote allows me to walk into an adjacent room (door open), point it to another direction, and still have it working. It’s because it contains 3 bright IR LEDs.

Interestingly, right now, I still use the same batteries. After a whopping 11 years! of course it doesn’t go as far anymore (now about 3 meters with a small angle). But hey, that’s still very impressive.

I wonder if there is some effect that keeps the batteries going. As I think they are long over even their expiration date. Let alone the realistic energy available.

(It’s also programmable. Which makes it the best included remote I have ever had.)

Re:Time to retire IR for remotes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31357368)

Because new = automatically better.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. IR remotes work just fine for devices like that.

Re:Time to retire IR for remotes (1)

theJML (911853) | more than 4 years ago | (#31358976)

The PS3 remote is BT, and I love it. and it's lasted quite a while on it's 2 batteries. I'm sure it'll probably die slightly before a normal IR remote, but it could easily be made to use a rechargeable cradle and that'd solve that issue.

Re:Time to retire IR for remotes (1)

JambisJubilee (784493) | more than 4 years ago | (#31359610)

I don't know why everyone in here is hating on IR. It really is superior technology for remote controls:

  • no pairing
  • ultra low power consumption
  • instant response

Seriously, what advantage could bluetooth have? If you're using a remote, you're already in line of sight of the device anyway

Re:Time to retire IR for remotes (1)

fractaltiger (110681) | more than 4 years ago | (#31361888)

Your answer is answered by the Line of sight (think laser or flashlight) versus omni-directional wave (think home WiFI.) A remote can't power your TV from behind, can it?

I replaced my battery this week... line of sight only appears to be omnidirectional because with strong enough batteries, the signal 'leaks' even if you aren't pointing in a straight line. When batteries went low, our remote stopped being able to power the TV unless a very strict angle of incidence was kept. My old relatives doesn't understand angles, only that the TV is broken. I don't agree with wasteful tech, but I'm sure the /. community, being spend-prone as they are, would rather have something that their family doesn't need to complain about in strange situations.

Yeah, you need more batteries to get the added benefit of increased reception and advanced coordination of DVD-TV-DVR-Remote commands like someone else suggested. The batteries problem and the fact that the responsiveness is slower than current remotes why the future is kinda bleak. Hell, I hate our HDTV cable box. You push a button and it's almost half a second before the channel is changed. Move to normal channels and the problem is gone somewhat. Use the standard DTV box, and the lag is only half. Use a 15-year old analog box, and the response is instant. The trend is not encouraging, because you would think the public and market forces would have regulated this failure out of the market.

Have you even seen how slowly TV's and cable boxes boot these days? Geez. No wonder people go online for media. Our dollars have a higher voting power there than with other media. Er, back to the thread. Thanks for your time.

Re:Time to retire IR for remotes (1)

JambisJubilee (784493) | more than 4 years ago | (#31363860)

Your answer is answered by the Line of sight (think laser or flashlight) versus omni-directional wave (think home WiFI.) A remote can't power your TV from behind, can it?

That's what everyone is saying, but (really), you don't need to control your TV if you can't see it. Of course you can't power on your TV from behind it, but that's silly.

If you pretend that having to be able to see your TV to control it is some kind of annoyance, I don't know what to tell you

Re:Time to retire IR for remotes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31402250)

Your answer is answered by the Line of sight (think laser or flashlight) versus omni-directional wave (think home WiFI.) A remote can't power your TV from behind, can it?

That's what everyone is saying, but (really), you don't need to control your TV if you can't see it. Of course you can't power on your TV from behind it, but that's silly.

If you pretend that having to be able to see your TV to control it is some kind of annoyance, I don't know what to tell you

A strawman response, since nothing is "silly" if you let someone different look at it. One needs to turn it on / off from DIRECTLY behind for troubleshooting input cabling once enough wires are moved around. You also need great reception flexibility when coming into a room with the remote, like those times a quick mid-commercials drink is in required. Your response implies the only problem is from behind the set, and that you've resolved the logic, but the GP says that even front-view angles are affected. In short, there's plenty of room for failure present in correct use; we also don't complain about built-in "creative" uses for a technology.

Re:Time to retire IR for remotes (1)

svirre (39068) | more than 4 years ago | (#31377214)

Bluetooth as it is is not well suited. Bluetooth low energy or RF4CE is very well suited to replace IR. It uses less energy (IR diodes suck down quite a bit of juice), can do two way communication so it permits guaranteed response of button presses, kan have the TV page the remote, can display information on the remote etc.

Re:Time to retire IR for remotes (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#31360304)

IR works if it has line of sight. BT works if it feels like it.

The Hand to Hand Protocol. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31356956)

Zigbee!

That is MOST impressive (4, Funny)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#31356962)

From science fiction to science fact! While the time difference is much less significant than the time difference indicated in the movie "Frequency", performing a radio frequency transaction to devices in the fourth quarter while we are in the first quarter is quite impressive. It should be enough to collect useful information such as lottery numbers.

Re:That is MOST impressive (0)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#31357020)

No. It just means that any information sent now will be received in the fourth quarter. It doesn't mean that the answer will go backwards in time.
I don't know how they managed to slow down the signal that much, though.

Wireless mouse (1)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 4 years ago | (#31356970)

users will notice only nominal battery-life improvements for long-range or continuous data communication

No power saving for mice unfortunately.

I'm not sure why blue tooth mice are not more popular, with most companies going with their own propitiatory, battery guzzling shit [logitech.com] for wireless. Logitech, that means you!

Re:Wireless mouse (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31357080)

While the little tiny RF dongles are indeed proprietary(all of them suck and a special hell is reserved for the companies that don't even make them compatible between different lines of their own products), they are typically on par with, or even better than, bluetooth in terms of power consumption.

Re:Wireless mouse (1)

Whalou (721698) | more than 4 years ago | (#31357198)

I have the Logitech MX 5500 keyboard and mouse and they use Bluetooth.

No need to use the provided USB Bluetooth adapter if your computer (or PS3 in my case) supports Bluetooth already.

Re:Wireless mouse (2, Interesting)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 4 years ago | (#31357408)

To be fair, having wireless keyboards and mice that show up to the host system as plain old USB HID-compliant devices means there's generally one less thing to have to troubleshoot in case there are problems. Not to mention that you can use them to access the BIOS -- something you can't do with Bluetooth because the Bluetooth stack/driver haven't been loaded yet.

Re:Wireless mouse (1)

viking099 (70446) | more than 4 years ago | (#31357818)

I have an older computer, with an older bluetooth KB/mouse set, and I can access anything I need to access in the BIOS or POST screens. My set came with a BT dongle, so I don't know if that's necessary or if it would work the same with integrated BT.

In fact, just last week my computer went a little crazy and I couldn't connect with either my keyboard or mouse. I rolled back my machine to an earlier state from a backup with no problems. So I couldn't do anything in the OS, but up until it loaded, it was fine.

I also want to give a quick plug for HPs MediaSmart servers. They're amazing little machines and doing a system restore was super easy. It took a long time, but the whole process was very simple and easy to follow.

Re:Wireless mouse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31358364)

Chances are good that it's not really bluetooth, but operates on the same frequency. It's only been in the past few months that companies have started making their BT-like keyboards/mice compatible with the actual BT spec so you don't need their proprietary dongles.

Re:Wireless mouse (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31361042)

It's only been in the past few months that companies have started making their BT-like keyboards/mice compatible with the actual BT spec so you don't need their proprietary dongles.

Uh, what? I have an Apple bluetooth keyboard, a ThinkOutside folding bluetooth keyboard and a Kensington bluetooth mouse. All of them work without any device-specific drivers or proprietary dongles, on several different operating systems. I got the mouse and keyboard in 2003, the folding keyboard in 2006. If by 'few' you mean '90 or so,' then I guess you're right.

Re:Wireless mouse (1)

SenseiLeNoir (699164) | more than 4 years ago | (#31360540)

Actually a lot of BT keyboard and mouse sets behave as a normal USB HID compliant device when used with the provided dongle. My Microsoft Wireless 7000 KB + Mouse's dongle has a HID bridge that is on by default with a simple bluetooth stack implemented on the dongle, that only works with the mouse/keyboard. It is only when I install the drivers AND choose to install the BT stack that it switches to full BT mode (It is possible to install the Intellipoint software without enabling the bluetooth stack to save memory if you wish)

Re:Wireless mouse (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 4 years ago | (#31357862)

Bluetooth headsets, and to a lesser extent keyboards and mice, all suffer from noticeable lag. This makes BT devices worthless for gaming and video, and damn annoying for everything else.

A low-lag Bluetooth is needed before it will replace USB.

Re:Wireless mouse (1)

Randle_Revar (229304) | more than 4 years ago | (#31360084)

RF keyboards and mice have lag too. And I suspect the lag is not intrinsic in BT, since it seems to work just fine in for the PS3 and Wii

pedometers, (3, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 4 years ago | (#31356980)

pedometers?

Pedometers! Think of the children! Don't let these meters anywhere near our kids

And don't sciken me with your "Bluetooth Special Interest Group", I don't want to know about your special interests.

Re: pedometers, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31357016)

No no, you have it all wrong. Pedometers are those devices that HELP folks gauge how close they are to the nearest pedo.

Re: pedometers, (2, Funny)

Ivan Stepaniuk (1569563) | more than 4 years ago | (#31357018)

FAIL, this devices do not pose any risk for the children. On the contrary, they are used for measuring how pedophile a person is, wirelessly, and can be used to protect children from the otherwise unnoticeable offenders, either human or running bear.

Re: pedometers, (1)

neiras (723124) | more than 4 years ago | (#31357062)

Pedometers! Think of the children! Don't let these meters anywhere near our kids.

Pedobear [boingboing.net] probably used one during his Olympic appearance.

Poor Quatchi, Miga, and Sumi.

They're rolling out Bluetooth 4... (1)

HopefulIntern (1759406) | more than 4 years ago | (#31356984)

....but still USB3 is still nowhere in sight...

Re:They're rolling out Bluetooth 4... (1)

Straterra (1045994) | more than 4 years ago | (#31356998)

My browser must see in to the future then..
http://tinyurl.com/slshdtUSB3 [tinyurl.com]

Re:They're rolling out Bluetooth 4... (1)

HopefulIntern (1759406) | more than 4 years ago | (#31357394)

Well shit, I must be getting old, I missed it completely.

Re:They're rolling out Bluetooth 4... (4, Funny)

I confirm I'm not a (720413) | more than 4 years ago | (#31357022)

That's nothing - I'm still waiting for TeX [wikipedia.org] to hit version 4. It seems like it's been around the 3.14159 point forever!

Re:They're rolling out Bluetooth 4... (2, Funny)

maestroX (1061960) | more than 4 years ago | (#31357262)

TeX version 4 has problems with rendering circles, stick with the current version for ever.

Lower power devices (3, Insightful)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#31356990)

Of course, the act of including Bluetooth transforms them from "run years on a single battery" to "run from outlet to outlet".

Re:Lower power devices (2, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 4 years ago | (#31357034)

No, your running is just confined to a treadmill connected to a generator.

Re:Lower power devices (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 4 years ago | (#31358794)

Sir! Who told you how I power my G1 between outlets!? =)

Re:Lower power devices (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#31357226)

No, it absorbs kinetic energy...





... after being thrown at the wall for being out of power for the sixth time in two days.

So (2, Interesting)

gadzook33 (740455) | more than 4 years ago | (#31357060)

Does this mean we'll finally get a decent pair of bluetooth headphones?

same ol' bt audio (3, Informative)

distantbody (852269) | more than 4 years ago | (#31357240)

They need to improve the music streaming. Currently its decompress the audio > real time lossy recompression with worse codec > transmit and then finally decompress. It's less than ideal for audio quality and battery life. I think data transmission over te skin would be good for the task. My ears get warm and tender after 10 minutes from using a bt headset anyway, maybe I'm just allergic to it...

Re:same ol' bt audio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31357362)

They need to improve the music streaming. Currently its decompress the audio > real time lossy recompression with worse codec > transmit and then finally decompress. It's less than ideal for audio quality and battery life. I think data transmission over te skin would be good for the task. My ears get warm and tender after 10 minutes from using a bt headset anyway, maybe I'm just allergic to it...

Reminds me of a forum post I saw somewhere a while ago. Someone was asking for a Bluetooth headset that would accept PCM, Dolby TrueHD, and DTS-HD MA from his Blu-ray player. He didn't care if only the base/transmitter accepted those formats, but he wanted to be damn sure it accepted them so he wouldn't have to deal with any of that inferior lossy audio. : p

Re:same ol' bt audio (1)

bar-agent (698856) | more than 4 years ago | (#31368284)

Currently its decompress the audio > real time lossy recompression with worse codec > transmit and then finally decompress.
I worked at a company that developed a very nice lossless Bluetooth codec. The tech is out there to do better, it is just a question of adoption and sales.

Re:same ol' bt audio (1)

Burz (138833) | more than 4 years ago | (#31379702)

Agreed that bt audio doesn't measure up. The market in wireless headphones is really being hampered by the lack of audio quality.

That and range is an issue. Bt should be able to cover a 1-bedroom apartment so you can at least go to the bathroom or grab a snack without interruptions. It wouldn't even need much of a power boost, maybe 10-15%.

Bluetooth transmits where?!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31357274)

Bluetooth 4.0 To Reach Devices In Fourth Quarter

Holy poop!
I must have fallen behind the times.
Did not realize Bluetooth is so advanced that it can now transmit into the future!
When did they even start working on that sort of technology?

Bluetooth 3.0 (2, Funny)

Crock23A (1124275) | more than 4 years ago | (#31357278)

I must be getting old. I completely missed Bluetooth 3.0!

Biggest Question (1)

robinstar1574 (1472559) | more than 4 years ago | (#31357390)

Is it backwards compatible

Devices In Fourth Quarter (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 4 years ago | (#31357810)

But will it reach devices in the French Quarter? This lack of coverage in New Orleans is troubling!

I thought BT incorporated UWB (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31358168)

I thought BT incorporated UWB at some point, the whole UWB story was kind of confusing. Not that it matters anymore since UWB is defunct.

Never used Bluetooth in my life (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31358466)

My Mac mini has Bluetooth but I didn't ask for it. It's always off and I have no devices that use it.

Cellphone? No I don't have a godamn cellphone. If I'm not home, just leave a message.

Ha! (1)

stakovahflow (1660677) | more than 4 years ago | (#31358744)

Blue teeth! We don't need no stinkin' blue teeth! -Seriously, I've used bluetooth technology exactly once in my life and thought that was too much...

--The peanut gallery has chimed in...

WiFi (1)

NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) | more than 4 years ago | (#31358802)

I think the bigger news is that the spec includes a feature to communicate over WiFi. Only 25Mbps, but that could still be enough to take some cost out of devices that need both.

Bluetooth totally, completely sucks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31366728)

Bluetooth has been a complete failure for me. High battery drain, poor signal distance, random device amnesia requiring complete reconnect, slow syncup/connection, incompatible or intentionally crippled implementations, bad drivers that crash and require a reboot to reactivate, etc.

Wi-fi supposedly takes more power but I don't see it. On multiple cell phones I see the opposite: quicker battery drain with bluetooth than wi-fi. And wi-fi actually works.

I recently tried S9-HD wireless bluetooth headphones, hoping that somehow bluetooth might have finally been fixed, but they suffered all of the same problems. Luckily it was still within 30 days so I got a refund. The quality control on bluetooth implementations is atrocious and it'll be at least 5 more years before I give bluetooth another shot.

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