Gartner warns IT on Bluetooth
As support for the Bluetooth wireless specification slowly expands in the
U.S., Gartner Inc. warns that in three years, Bluetooth-based technology will
cost businesses and consumers worldwide an additional $5.6 billion annually due
to increased support and usage costs.
Bluetooth champions anticipate that forthcoming native Bluetooth
implementations for the Windows XP and Macintosh OS X will boost the presence of
the spec in the U.S. Bluetooth is described by its developers in the so-called
Bluetooth SIG as a small-form factor, low-cost radio solution that can provide
links between mobile computers, mobile phones and other portable handheld
devices, as well as Internet connectivity. Gartner predicts that more than 560
million Bluetooth-based devices will be in use worldwide by 2005.
Analysts at the Stamford, Conn.-based research firm suggest IT managers
should tread carefully into Bluetooth technologies. For example, Gartner
analysts say security flaws and interoperability problems can make
Bluetooth-enabled devices inadequate unless organizations spend significant sums
to correct the problems.
'Bluetooth deployment costs will be higher than other wireless technologies
because of limited interoperability and the need to implement policies to
safeguard against data corruption and theft,' said Gartner analyst Bill Clark.
Though the Bluetooth SIG must certify all Bluetooth-enabled products, Clark
contends the process doesn't 'make high-level security and interoperability
between products a requirement.'
He added that the Bluetooth specifications cannot guarantee that products
from multiple vendors can interoperate. Therefore, IT developers will in many
cases be forced to create links between products.
Mike Bucken is former Editor-in-Chief of Application Development Trends magazine.