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1.3 The Aims of Bluetooth

Why should a group with such diverse interests as the Bluetooth promoters cooperate? Basically, because it's good for their businesses. The members of the Bluetooth promoters group all stand to gain something from mobile devices communicating better, whether by selling devices that have enhanced functionality or by selling the extra software that people will need once they can more easily access information on the move.

The reasons for making the Bluetooth specification freely available to anyone who cares to sign an adopter's agreement are basically the same. The Bluetooth promoters group has made Bluetooth an open specification, rather than keeping it restricted and proprietary, because consumers are more likely to adopt a technology which can be bought from many manufacturers than one which is just limited to a select few. Wide acceptance among consumers is likely to lead to a larger overall market for Bluetooth devices. So the promoters will gain from more companies becoming involved in the Bluetooth SIG.

The aim of the Bluetooth specification is basically to sell more of the core promoters' products. This will happen because Bluetooth will make their products more useful by improving communications between them. Before the advent of Bluetooth, telecommunications and computing devices were usually connected by cables, which were easily broken or lost. Cables are also awkward to carry around. The Bluetooth specification aimed to ease communication between mobile devices by providing a cable replacement.

Being a cable replacement technology imposes several requirements. If Bluetooth technology is to replace cables, it can't be much more expensive than a cable or nobody will buy it. At the time of writing, a data cable for a cellular mobile phone was about $10. Allocate half the cost of the cable to each end of the link and it's obvious that for a cable replacement technology to be attractive on purely financial grounds, each unit should cost no more than $5. So, the two ends of the link should cost the same as the cable they replace.

Because Bluetooth technology is designed for mobile devices, it must be able to run on batteries. So, it must be very low power, and should run on low voltages. It must also be lightweight and small enough not to intrude on the design of compact mobile devices such as cellular phones, headsets, and PDAs.

It must be as easy and convenient to use as plugging in a cable, and it must be as reliable as the cable it replaces. Because it is a wireless technology, to be reliable, Bluetooth must also be resilient. Reliability means it works overall; resilience means that it can cope with errors.

So, Bluetooth aims to be widely available, inexpensive, convenient, easy to use, reliable, small, and low power. If Bluetooth achieves all these goals, it will be incredibly good for the businesses involved with it.

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