Cambridge Consultants Demonstrates Bluetooth Solutions at WiCon

6/9/2004 - The development consultancy Cambridge Consultants is demonstrating a standards-based solution for radio-enabling products and equipment at WiCon, using Bluetooth. The short-range radio option is fully available now and offers wireless-enabling potential with extremely low bill-of-material (BOM) costs.

Now that Bluetooth has mastered its initial target applications, Cambridge Consultants expects the maturity and economy of the commercial silicon to start opening up niche markets in appliance control - especially in situations where consumers can exploit the widely-available Bluetooth capability that exists on mobile phones and PDAs.

To illustrate the point, Cambridge Consultants is demonstrating remote lighting control from a standard Bluetooth mobile phone. The solution is designed for implementation on CSR's market-leading BlueCore chip. This microcontroller-equipped, single-chip device provides a complete Bluetooth stack and application software suitable for embedding into ROM or a small external Flash memory array.

The demonstration exploits the OBEX (object exchange) Profile to transmit control data - an application software layer that almost all Bluetooth-compatible phones and PDAs implement.

"Bluetooth represents a major here-and-now opportunity for OEMs," says Tim Whittaker, Cambridge Consultants' Wireless Enabled Products Group Leader. "Single-chip radios equipped with a microcontroller are now available for well below $5, and the technology is commonplace on mobile devices such as phones and PDAs. It could be many years before alternative short-range wireless technologies appear on mobile devices."

Bluetooth is ideal for building remote control applications wherever infrared handsets faces difficulties, such as controlling a set-top box from a different room. Its seven-node network capability also provides scope for linking small groups of sensors or devices.

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