As various reporters and industry experts proclaim Bluetooth a dead technology, consumer awareness is on the rise. The Bluetooth Special Interest Group commissioned a study that tested awareness in the fall of 2003 and again in 2004. The US members of the study had an awareness of 42% in 2004, up 22% from the year prior and matching awareness of Wi-Fi. Not surprisingly, consumers were most aware of Bluetooth in mobile phones, PDAs and mobile computers.
The study included the US in addition to the UK and Japan. The latter were twice as aware of Bluetooth compared to the US. This is consistent with the number of products in those markets that contain Bluetooth. The US has been sadly behind in this area; Verizon for instance, just added their first Bluetooth mobile phone a few months ago.
"It is encouraging to see consumer awareness mirror the rise in volumes of Bluetooth products we have seen over the last year," said Dr. Michael Foley, executive director of the Bluetooth SIG. "The volumes have doubled from 2003 to 2004 to an installed base of over 250 million units and we see a continued growth likely reaching 450 million units by the close of 2005. In order for any technology to succeed, it must be recognized and understood by the consumer."
Bluetooth is certainly becoming more ubiquitous. Most PDAs include a Bluetooth radio, even the mid-range. Several notebooks come with Bluetooth as part of the base configuration with many more throwing it in for $50 or less. For more information on Bluetooth and its applications visit https://www.bluetooth.org/bluetooth/landing/flash/intro.swf
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