Friday, May 19, 2006

Bluetooth Disappointment

On paper, Bluetooth sounds like a wonderful idea. Once you actually apply it to a real product, the luster of this wonderfully technology quickly fades from the limelight. At the beginning of the year, I upgraded my cell phone, an ended up with Bluetooth. How wonderful, I thought, dreaming of seamless integration.

So, I bought a Nokia Bluetooth headset. It beeped... constantly. Every three minutes, it would play the Nokia jingle. Whenever I would get a call, I'd click the connect button, but I couldn't answer the phone, because I had to wait for the jingle to finish. I called Nokia, and they said their headsets were only designed to work with Nokia phones.

I though Bluetooth was a platform independent protocol?

So, I bought another headset Scala. The good news is: the Scala jingle is shorter than the Nokia jingle. Then it occurred to me, two brands of headsets, same problem-- the common factor was the phone.

So, I called Samsung. No, they explained, Bluetooth is extremely particular about whom it will talk. They were surprised that either headset worked. They suggested a change that would decrees the frequency with which the tone played, but couldn't silence the tone.

As if I didn't have enough headaches in the world... I bought a Palm Tungsten E2 with Bluetooth. It won't exchange data with the phone, because it only understands the Bluetooth dialects spoken by Motorola, Nokia, and Siemens. Even if it could, it doesn't know how to access the internet via SprintPCS... only Verizon.

So, I bought a Bluetooth USB dongle. The Windows XP desktop recognized the device. It paired with the Palm, Samsung, and even the Scala headset. In the end, however, the only thing it let me do was sync the Palm via Bluetooth. Unfortunately, it has to be reconfigured every time the system gets booted.

Bluetooth, schmoo tooth.

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