In June, PalmSource announced it had licensed from Extended Systems the software necessary to allow future handhelds running the Palm OS to support Bluetooth 1.2. Now, the Bluetooth Qualification Program has given its approval to PalmSource's Bluetooth Stack for Palm OS Cobalt (6.x), the next version of its operating system.
"By continuing to support the latest industry specifications, our software enables Palm OS licensees to deliver infrared and Bluetooth short-range wireless communications capabilities to the next generation of wireless device users," said Charles Jepson, president and CEO of Extended Systems.
Bluetooth 1.2 offers better performance than earlier versions do when used at the same time as Wi-Fi. It does this with Adaptive Frequency Hopping (AFH), which was designed to reduce interference between wireless technologies sharing the 2.4 GHz spectrum. Cordless telephones, microwave ovens, and several versions of Wi-Fi, including IEEE 802.11b and IEEE 802.11g, generally share the same wireless frequencies as Bluetooth. AFH works within the spectrum to take advantage of the available frequencies without limiting the Bluetooth transmission to a set of frequencies occupied by other technologies.
It is not known at this time when the first Palm OS devices offering Bluetooth 1.2 will be available. It could be as soon as next month, when palmOne is expected to introduce its first Palm OS Cobalt model, the Tungsten T5, which includes integrated Bluetooth.
In order for a product to carry the Bluetooth seal, it must go through an approval process. When this has been successfully completed, the product is listed on the Bluetooth Qualification Program web site. This is somewhat similar to the process wireless devices of all kinds have to go through to get FCC approval.
More information is available on the Bluetooth Qualification Program web site.
Thanks to Willem Huitema for the tip.
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