Bluetooth stumbled out of the gate. But the short-range wireless technology, which provides a cable-free way to connect devices, is destined for a surge to the front of the pack by 2005, according to a recent report by Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Cahner’s In-Stat Group.
A Bluetooth-ready PDA, for example, could automatically identify when it was close to a Bluetooth-enabled PC and immediately start synchronization. Printers, scanners and other peripherals could also connect without cables, eliminating the rats’ nest of wires that ensnare so many desktops. But while the technology was announced with much fanfare and support from the likes of IBM, Intel and Microsoft, actual products have been few and far between.
Cahner’s expects that situation to change rapidly, however, as products are finally coming to market. Bluetooth-enabled services have also begun to appear in hotels, shopping malls, golf courses and airports. And Bluetooth software development is beginning to show signs of life.
Given these changes, Cahner’s predicts that the Bluetooth market will grow from near negligible in 2000 to more than 955 million units in 2005. The report also predicts that adapters and cards intended to make existing systems Bluetooth-ready will dominate the early market, quickly followed by embedded systems that will come standard with many PCs, devices and peripherals.