back to article Wanted: Killer app for Bluetooth SIG (still)

The Bluetooth SIG is looking for applications that use the wireless technology in more interesting ways than wireless headsets or keyboards, and is offering at least $23,500 as an incentive. The idea is to make use of the Bluetooth technology, already embedded in phones and PCs, to do something interesting. The best application …

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Happy

Bt child leash or key ring

I was going to get my boss one of those wireless child leashes - they beep when the kid gets out of range alerting the parent. Only it was not for his kids but his wallet. When having a business lunch with a client he would bring his wallet and chequebook and often leave it lying on the bar as he left. Thankfully the local bar staff knew him and put it to one side but a beeper would have handy -especially if he was neg'ing contracts in a london pub.

The number of people I know who do the same thing with thier keys. A simple keyring dongle that alerts the owner (screams "stop thief") when they are out of range - and perhaps beeps when owner is back in range would help find missing (possibly just stolen) keys - it happens....

Of course none of the above are serious - after all none of us take BT seriously do we?

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FAIL

Have the SIG considered making existing applications work?

Carkits connecting to the wrong mobile, headsets dropping their connection mid call, wireless mice and keyboards requiring a new pairing (and the use of a wired mouse and keyboard to log in) every time you use your dualboot machine to boot to another OS...

Is there any existing bluetooth technology that can be said to work reliably? Do we realy need another that doesn't?

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Unhappy

"but not a lot of people can see the point in that"

Only because they don't work. I have a bluetooth folding keyboard which I intended to use with a Windows Mobile phone. I never got it to work properly. I have a Celluon laser keyboard which does work on Windows Mobile 6.1 with beta drivers, but since I resorted to a Windows Mobile phone twice as thick as I wanted in order to get an integrated keyboard, I don't often have to put up with the need to re-pair it repeatedly. It is, of course, not a standard BlueTooth HID device, so I couldn't pair it with a Linux device easily. I'd love to use it with an Android phone (which would stop me feeling the need for the phone to be double-thick), but of course there's no (official) support. I can quite happily surf the internet on an 800x480 or bigger screen on a mobile phone, but there's no way that I can type on one properly (however good Swype may be), and this would solve the problem nicely.

My experience of BlueTooth headsets is that when they don't cut out just because they're on the opposite side of me from my phone (yes I'm fat, but I can't be *that* radio-opaque) and actually pair properly, and the batteries don't die in two minutes, they let me hear other people, but they can't hear me. I should probably give modern technology a go and try my fifth headset type, but so far it's just felt like a BlueTooth tax.

I *am* thinking of using BlueTooth as a mechanism for timing shots in tiddlywinks (slow play is killing the game). So far, the problem is that walking around the table to hit a chess clock takes longer than actually playing a shot. The cheapest solution I can think of is to strap a WiiMote to the wrist of each player and ask them to poke a button when they've played, and have a Linux laptop running the timer, talking to the WiiMotes; I could make them vibrate (or yell) when people are taking too long. (A touch-sensitive strip and a BT transmitter on the squidgers would be even better, but a bit outside our budget - I've already *got* the WiiMotes, even though they're hopelessly overkill.) Somehow I doubt it's that universal as applications go, so I doubt the SIG would give me money.

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Anonymous Coward

Don't doubt

Give it a shot. It's silly enough to make for an interesting entry line. And who knows, maybe you'll get a couple grand out of it.

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Bronze badge
Gates Horns

I'd like to see a Bluetooth hub app or BT/WiFi tethering

Which lets a lot of people with BT headsets talk to each other without making phone calls.

I'd also like to see an iPod Touch app which lets you make calls via a BT-linked mobile phone

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killer app: something that works

I think the only bluetooth things I have that consistently works as they should are the PS3's gamepads. Just about everything else is prone to dropping connection, mysteriously requiring re-pairing, not finding the device it's supposed to connect to, and so on and so forth. I use my cellphone as a modem for my laptop, and half of the time when I try to use it it creates a new virtual connection, requiring new configurations.

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Gates Horns

Personally I blame MS

MS own the desktop*, and for a short and fairly miserable period of time, they owned the smartphone market. Sad to say then that on both platforms MS' bluetooth stack sucks like a Cheshire teen after a night on the Lambrini and cheap speed.

Alternative stacks are available, Bluesoleil on the desktop and Broadcomm on winmo for instance, but for the likes of the former you either have to do a licensing deal to distribute - also adding additional complexity and compatibility issues - or narrow your user base to just those with a compatible stack. With WinMo, you get either the Broadcomm or MS stack and you can't change it, so you're forced to choose one or deploy separate apps for both.

I've no doubt that many MS developers over the years have sat down to code up their killer Bluetooth app and ended up thinking 'fuck it', just as I've no doubt there probably already are some pretty nifty bluetooth applications hacked up on Linux that no one except their author and six other people care about.

*deal with it

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Eastern Standard Tribe

Cory Doctorow described a file sharing app. for cars on the New Jersey turnpike (or something like that) that published lists of tracks to other cars and offered to copy them over. In heavy slow traffic you are in range for long enough especially with the newer long range standard. Would also work on the bus. I spend an hour on buses everyday BT could sniff all sorts of stuff from other passengers, from bystanders in the town square, etc. Shops could offer advertising (as long as my mobile can ignore them)

How about using BT instead of DECT then my mobile could route calls through my land line when in range. Then I wouldn't need a separate handset for my land line.

There is no shortage of ideas, just not very many that a big corporation can use to get quickly rich.

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