Personal Wireless With Bluetooth

Personal Wireless with Bluetooth
If you already have a​ wireless network for​ your computers, you may be very interested in​ what's coming next .​
Would you like it​ if​ your PDA, your mobile phone, your mp3 player and​ almost everything else you connect to​ your computer could be wireless too? It's already a​ reality...
Personal Area Network.
Using wireless networking with your personal gadgets is​ often called PAN, which stands for​ Personal Area Network .​
The idea is​ that, in​ the​ future, we'll all have laptop computers with their batteries charged and​ no more need to​ connect any wires to​ them at​ all -- you just place your Bluetooth device near the​ computer, and​ the​ computer sees it​ and​ can use it​ straightaway .​
Bluetooth has been around and​ in-use since 1999, and​ it's only getting more popular .​
It was designed to​ be secure, low cost, and​ easy to​ use from day one.
There are two classes of​ Bluetooth that are in​ popular use: class 1 and​ class 2 .​
Class 2 is​ the​ most common and​ cheaper standard, allowing you to​ use a​ device that is​ up to​ 10 metres (32 feet) away .​
Class 1 is​ rarer, but you can still find devices that use it​ easily enough, and​ it​ has ten times the​ range: 100 metres or​ 320 feet.
How Does It Work?
Bluetooth is​ more flexible than 802.11 wireless networking, in​ exchange for​ the​ shorter range .​
Essentially, a​ Bluetooth-enabled computer has one Bluetooth receiver installed in​ it, and​ this receiver can then be used with up to​ 7 nearby Bluetooth devices .​
On the​ other end, wireless devices do not need to​ have Bluetooth installed if​ they support it​ -- it​ is​ already integrated.
Like 802.11, Bluetooth works by using radio signals to​ create bandwidth .​
It is​ not, though, the​ same thing as​ an​ old-style wireless mouse or​ keyboard, which required a​ receiver to​ be plugged into one of​ your computers' ports, and​ didn't have range or​ stability anywhere near that of​ Bluetooth.
Many computers now come with built in​ Bluetooth, especially Apple Macs .​
If you want to​ add Bluetooth to​ a​ computer that doesn't come with it​ pre-installed, you should probably use a​ USB to​ Bluetooth adapter, although internal Bluetooth devices to​ install in​ your computer are available .​
If you have a​ laptop and​ a​ spare PCMCIA slot, you can get Bluetooth cards for​ that too.
What Can You Do With Bluetooth?
Mobile phones with Bluetooth are very popular, and​ so are PDAs -- the​ instant synchronisation of​ addresses and​ calendars to​ a​ computer is​ a​ useful feature .​
Other than that, almost anything that would usually use USB can be done using Bluetooth, including digital cameras, mp3 players, printers, and​ even mice and​ keyboards .​
If you take a​ look through the​ comprehensive list of​ Bluetooth 'profiles' (kinds of​ devices that could, in​ theory, be Bluetooth enabled), it​ includes cordless phones, faxes, headsets, and​ even video.
Basically, more than anything, Bluetooth is​ a​ replacement for​ USB: some say that while 802.11 wireless networking is​ wireless Ethernet, Bluetooth is​ wireless USB.
Not Just for​ Computers.
Part of​ the​ power of​ Bluetooth is​ that it​ isn't just used to​ connect things to​ computers -- it​ can be used to​ connect almost anything to​ anything else, if​ both things are Bluetooth-enabled and​ recognise each other .​
Mobile phones, in​ particular, take advantage of​ this .​
Hands-free headsets often use Bluetooth to​ communicate with the​ phone .​
Some cars, for​ example, now have on-board computers that will connect with a​ Bluetooth phone and​ allow you to​ make hands-free calls, regardless of​ where the​ phone is​ in​ the​ car (even if​ you've left it​ in​ your bag in​ the​ trunk!)
On top of​ that, of​ course, Bluetooth devices can communicate with each other .​
This has led to​ some people sending messages from their Bluetooth PDAs to​ others in​ close range -- not an​ especially useful feature, but quite fun .​
This is​ called 'bluejacking', and​ the​ first recorded instance of​ it​ was a​ man who sent a​ Bluetooth message to​ another man's Nokia phone while they were in​ a​ bank together .​
What did the​ message say? 'Buy Ericsson' .​
Since then, it​ has become possible to​ send images by bluejacking, and​ it​ is​ widely believed to​ be the​ newest advertising medium -- yes, it​ lets billboards send messages to​ your phone, a​ practice known as​ 'bluecasting' .​
Whether you think that's cool or​ annoying, of​ course, is​ your choice.

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