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  1. Getting Started
  2. Where Is the Information?
  3. Summary
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Where Is the Information?

Information about Bluetooth wireless communication exists in many places and in many forms. The official Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) Web site contains a wealth of information, including the specification for the technology. Numerous other online resources such as Web sites and electronic mailing lists contain information about products and technology, with some mailing lists allowing members to trade experiences, hints, and tips about products and implementations. Numerous articles in computer industry trade press publications as well as in mainstream news outlets, both print and broadcast, have appeared and continue to be published rather frequently. The first Bluetooth books appeared in 2000, with more on the way. A number of organizations also produce Bluetooth developers conferences, with many such events being held several times per year in various places. Each of these topics is discussed further later in this article.

This article does not present an exhaustive list of information resources about Bluetooth wireless technology; such a list may not be possible because it is ever growing. But for those who want to start learning about the technology, the information repositories cited here should form a good basis for getting started.

The Bluetooth SIG Web Site

The official source of information about Bluetooth wireless communication is the SIG Web site, http://www.bluetooth.com/. The heart of the technology is the specification, which can be accessed at this Web site (all 1,500+ pages of it). Other SIG publications such as white papers and a newsletter can be found at this site, along with a great deal of other information, including a list of the SIG members and links to information about Bluetooth products and companies dealing in the technology.

A "members only" section of the site is available for SIG promoter, associate, and adopter members. Included here are discussion groups and SIG works in progress. The public area of the site includes information and forms for becoming a SIG member.

The SIG Web site is probably the best place to start to learn more about the technology. The actual embodiment of the technology is the specification, which can be downloaded from the Web site, and several of the SIG white papers offer background information. A good deal of other information also exists, including documents about product qualification, an overview of the technology, and even the "Bluetooth story," which describes the Viking heritage of the name Bluetooth.

Other Online Resources

In addition to the official SIG Web site, many other Web sites, or areas of Web sites, are devoted to the discussion of Bluetooth wireless communication. Most promoter companies (the SIG promoter companies are 3Com, Ericsson, Intel, IBM, Lucent, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia, and Toshiba) include Bluetooth information on their respective company Web sites, as do many other companies involved with the technology. A Web search for "Bluetooth" using most popular search engines is likely to yield tens of thousands of hits. Many of these will include information about products.

E-mail distribution lists devoted to the topic also exist. I subscribe to several of these; one of the most active is bluetooth@egroups.com. On this mailing list, people from all over the world, including students, industry representatives, and others interested in the technology, can correspond with each other to exchange information, ask and answer questions, notify each other of events and new products, and generally discuss items of interest in this topic area.

Publications and Features

Many technical journals, industry trade magazines, newspapers and mainstream press—both print and television—have featured articles or segments about Bluetooth wireless communication, and they continue to do so. Fortunately, many of these articles are online and can be found using Web search engines. Many of us who are involved in the SIG often talk with reporters. The significant interest in Bluetooth technology has resulted in many articles about it, from general overviews to opinion pieces, to tutorials and product reviews.

The first books about Bluetooth wireless communication from major publishers appeared in the United States in September 2000, with more on the way. Major online booksellers list several titles either in print or soon to be published, and the number of books is expected to grow. Often background information and reviews about books can be found online, and these books are also available in many bookstores.

Developers Conferences

The computing and telecommunications industries seem to thrive on conferences, and this may be because the conferences can be an excellent way to share information. The SIG and other organizations have produced many developers conferences in the past few years, and these are likely to continue because most have been very popular. I have attended developers conferences sponsored by the SIG or produced by other organizations in Atlanta; London; Geneva (twice); Los Angeles; Washington, D.C.; Amsterdam; and Monte Carlo, and this is just a sampling of those that have taken place in the past few years. The SIG Web site posts information about many major developers conferences; at any given time, there is probably an upcoming conference somewhere in the world.

Developers conferences are often an excellent way to learn about the technology. Many conferences feature tutorials and lectures led by experts in Bluetooth wireless communication, including many of the pioneers of the technology. Larger conferences typically feature product and technology demonstrations where people can see the latest developments firsthand. And, of course, conferences provide a great opportunity to make contacts, meet others with common interests, and discuss the state of the art with those who are advancing it.

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