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News Archive - October 2001

Please post your company's press releases for inclusion on The Wireless Directory
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For the latest Bluetooth & Wireless news see the News Page and Internet News Search .

OCTOBER 2001

N48:Red-M announce new Bluetooth Access Point
Red-M, has announced a new access point for wireless connectivity to a corporate LAN.

The Red-M 1050AP is integrated into to the corporate LAN and extends wireless access to Bluetooth users in a 10m radius. The access point enables synchronisation of information held on a PDA or laptop with a corporate server, wireless access to intranet services and high speed internet connectivity. It can be used as a standalone unit or as part of a larger network controlled by a Red-M Genos server. The 1050AP is priced at $495.

Simon Gawne, Vice President and co-founder of Red-M, commented: "Red-M's mantra has remained consistent since day one, to lead the wireless communications industry in every respect, particularly in terms of innovation. Red-M has firmly stamped its credentials upon the market over the past 18 months with a number of groundbreaking products and technologies - the 1050AP access point product strictly adheres to our focus on innovation." 

Details of Red-M's other offerings can be found on The Wireless Directory's Access Points and PDA's pages.

Red-M's original press release.

N47:Anoto dump Mexican based PenMex deal
Anoto a Swedish startup that develops digital pen services and technologies is to remain in Swedish hands. Company president Christer Fåraehushas today announced that the deal with the Mexican investment group PenMex is off. PenMex had accepted to subscribe to a €44.2 million in a new share issue, in exchange for a 15 per cent stake in Anoto.

Instead, Anoto will be taken over by C Technologies, parent company with 70 per cent of shares. C Tech, in fact, has secured the remaining 30 per cent stake from Ericsson. The transaction will be financed through a €47.2 million new share issue directed at the Swedish telecommunications group and other large investors.

The partnership with the Mexicans was made public one month ago. “In the last month we have reconsidered the deal with PenMex” Fåraehus explained today in a conference call. “For at least a year now, Anoto and C Technologies have been in talks for a merger”. Fåraehus added that PenMex has not taken any legal steps for a damages claim.

The new group will take on the name Anoto. Funding will be in the form of a new share issue worth €47,2 million. The figure is €20 million less than the €66.3 million capital increase that the sole startup would have received if the deal with PenMex had gone through. However, according to Fåraehus the fresh capital will be sufficient to reach profitability in first half of 2003.

Ericsson, which will take part to the new share issue, is due to become Anoto’s majority shareholder with a 24 per cent stake. Jan Uddenfeldt, Vice President Technology of Ericsson, said in a statement that Anoto’s concept, based on the Bluetooth short-range communications standard, is in line with the mobile internet strategy of the Swedish giant. “Anoto connects pen and paper with mobile communication enabling operators to create services that take the present success of SMS further”, added Uddenfeldt.

Beside Ericsson, main Anoto’s shareholders will include the US-based investment firm Capital Group (12 per cent) and Fåraehus (10 per cent). Other investors include mainly Nordic investment funds. On Thursday C Technologies shares in Stockholm registered a 5 per cent increase to SEK 26.4.

C-Technologies original press release.

Anoto's product solution can be found on the Innovative Products page.

N46:Manchester City to become Bluetooth enabled
Manchester is to become the first city in the world to have high speed, wireless internet access at restaurants, pubs and coffee shops.

A system using short range radio waves to link laptops and palm pilots to the internet will be installed in hotels, restaurants and universities on Friday as part of a test run. Users will be able to switch on their laptops and connect to the internet without having to plug into a phone line.

The Manchester scheme, launched today at the city's International Finance and Enterprise Week, is known as Speedwave and will go live in 70 sites in the city from February. It could be extended to the public sector services.

Philip Coen, chairman of the Manchester communications firm, Netario, who developed the service with Swedish partners, said: "All the major telecoms players payed around £26bn in licences to the government last year to allow people access to the net at high speed using mobile phones. But the telecoms were not planning to offer this for another two years."

For details from the original source click here.

Expect to see further details of Netario solutions on The Wireless Directory soon....

N45: Microsoft get Windows CE Bluetooth qualification

Microsoft announced on that its next-generation mobile operating system has passed a crucial test for Bluetooth compatibility, achieving qualification by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG). The qualification involves extensive testing with existing Bluetooth products as well as examination of the software by the SIG.

The software company also announced that Siemens and Socket Communications are both creating Bluetooth products around the software built into Windows CE .Net, as it is called. Bluetooth is a short-range radio technology used for connecting digital gadgets and PCs, and has started to build up steam with the release of a range of products this year.

"Bluetooth will enable a broad range of new applications for mobile devices, and being qualified by the Bluetooth SIG helps assure OEMs using Windows CE .Net that their devices will be interoperable with the wide range of other Bluetooth devices," said Keith White, senior director of the Embedded and Appliance Platforms Group at Microsoft, in a statement.

This move by Microsoft to get Windows CE Bluetooth qualification seems in direct contrast to Windows XP which the company decided not to include Bluetooth drivers on. This move by Microsoft confirms the opinion of The Wireless Directory and other market analysts that Bluetooth is not dead but will realize it's full potential.

Details from the original press release.

Details of Siemens Bluetooth solutions can found on the Access Points, Routers and Infrastructure.
Whilst details of Socket Communications solutions can be found on the PDA Accessories and Developer Tools.

Expect to see further details of Microsoft's solutions on The Wireless Directory soon....

N44:Microtune acquire Transilica to enter Bluetooth Market

Microtune has purchased Transilica, a company that specialises in system-on-chip designs for Bluetooth and other short-range wireless technologies
Microtune, a maker of radio-frequency (RF) chips and systems, is to make a quick entry into the Bluetooth market with its acquisition of Transilica, the companies announced.

Transilica, a San Diego, California-based Bluetooth chip developer, is to double Microtune's revenues to $120m (about £84m) for 2002, Microtune said. Microtune will issue 19.99 percent of its outstanding shares in exchange for all Transilica stock and stock options. The deal is expected to be completed next month.

Microtune will compete with companies like the UK's Cambridge Silicon Radio (CSR) who are already established in the market.

Details from the original press release.

Expect to see further details of Microtune and Transilica solutions on The Wireless Directory soon....

N43:Xemics gain funding for Bluetooth development
Xemics, a semiconductor company which develops and delivers low-power, short-range wireless connectivity solutions, has closed a second round of venture capital of €6.7 million following a previous round of €7.9 million completed in March 2001.

All the company’s previous investors and two new venture capital funds participated in these rounds: TAT Investmentst, Banexi Ventures, Innoventure Capital, Cantonal Bank of Vaud, Yasuda Enterprise Development and Vontobel European Ventures. Also other existing shareholders and Xemic’s management took part to the new round.

“This additional funding will allow us to complete our family of ultra low-power Bluetooth solutions for Personal Area Networks and to expand our market presence, especially in the USA and in the Far East,” said in a statement Alain Dantec, CEO of Xemics.

Details from the original press release.

Expect to see further details of Xemics solutions on The Wireless Directory soon....

N42:Possio to launch Wireless Gateway between Bluetooth and WLAN at Comdex

Possio is to launch a new Wireless Gateway between Bluetooth and WLAN at the Comdex Fall 2001. The PX20 is a solution that enables Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISP) to improve their infrastructure and to offer a wider range of Internet-based services.

The PX20 creates new uses in new applications, in particular for industrial users. It gives access to the Internet and intranet via handheld computers, smart phones and other Bluetooth-equipped, battery-efficient devices. 

Following field tests in Sweden and other countries, Possio is launching the PX20 at Comdex in November as the first of a portfolio of products to be released this winter (2001-2002). The PX20 is a standardized and independent communications solution that combines Bluetooth and WLAN in a single device. The price is likely to be similar to that of a sophisticated WLAN access node.

For full details from Possio's original press release click here.

N41:Red-M Blade launches Bluetooth module for Handspring 

RED-M has launched an addition to the Red-M Blade family, with its Bluetooth module for Handspring Visor handheld computers. The Red-M Blade is inserted into the Springboard expansion slot on the back of the device giving users quick and easy access to Bluetooth.

The latest member of the Red-M Blade family of products enables users of the Handspring Visor Platinum, Edge, Prism, Pro & Neo to connect to a Bluetooth mobile phone to enable access to the Internet, email, calendar and other data. The Red-M Blade can also identify and connect with other authorized Bluetooth devices, such as a PC or Bluetooth in-building network for wireless access and synchronization.

Roger Kermisch, Vice President & General Manager, Handspring Europe, comments, “We are delighted that Red-M is making Bluetooth technology available to Visor users. It again underlines the versatility of the Springboard platform and puts additional value in the hands of our customers. Red-M is at the forefront of developing powerful wireless connectivity solutions and we are pleased that users of Handspring Visors can now be part of the next generation of mobile working and gaming.”

Joyce Putscher Director, Converging Markets and Technologies Group, Cahners In-Stat explains, “I’m delighted that Red-M is bringing Bluetooth technology to Handspring. I fully expect a somewhat symbiotic relationship to develop between future PDA growth and Bluetooth access points, as each will fuel growth for the other. Cahners In-Stat research shows that a number of companies across business sizes plan to deploy Bluetooth wireless solutions. PDA and Handheld PC worldwide shipment growth this year will approach 20%, contrary to the tough PC market conditions."

Simon Gawne, Vice President and co-founder of Red-M, adds, “The Red-M Blade product family underlines Red-M’s commitment to driving widespread wireless adoption. The new Red-M Blade gives Handspring users the ability to access a wide variety of information quickly and easily wherever they are, a facility which can only enhance the popularity of Handspring PDA’s as business and leisure tools.”

Priced at $179, the Red-M Blade for Handspring will be available this month from selected retail outlets. The Red-M Blade for Palm VX is currently shipping, priced at $199. 

Details of Red-M's other offerings can be found on The Wireless Directory's Access Points and PDA's pages.
Info on Cahners Instat may be found on our Market Studies page.

For Red-M's original press release click here.


N40:Five Rutgers research teams awarded nearly $4million in grants
Five Rutgers research teams have been awarded close to $4 million through the National Science Foundation (NSF) Information Technology Research program. Now in its second year, the NSF program is granting $156 million to 309 recipients nationwide to develop innovative uses of information technology in science and engineering.

"Competition for these grants was incredibly intense," said Joseph J. Seneca, university vice president for academic affairs. "It is affirming to see the quality of our proposals and our faculty recognized at this highest level of competition."

As a part of this research grants, Liviu Iftode, assistant professor of computer science, is receiving more than $1.4 million over four years to conduct research in the area known as pervasive or ubiquitous computing.
His project will look at the future in which embedded computers linked through wireless networks are everywhere in the human environment in home appliances, cars, roads and buildings. 

The research will be assisted by Ulrich Kremer, assistant professor of computer science at Rutgers, and Michael Hsiao, assistant professor of computer engineering at Virginia Tech (formerly of Rutgers), are co-investigators.

The team will test a technology called "smart messages," a software architecture where mobile applications (the smart messages) migrate throughout the network, collecting bits of information for eventual delivery to a user.

The team will also develop prototypes on networks of embedded systems and handheld devices using Bluetooth, the new short-range wireless communication technology.

For full details from the original source of the report click here.


N39:   "Bluetooth will Outnumber WiFi 10:1, but both will triumph", says a Forrester survey
According to a recent Forrester survey, the message to companies is to stop worrying about whether Bluetooth will be wireless LAN technology, or whether WiFi will conflict with cordless Bluetooth devices because both systems are going to triumph.  And the message for the world's telcos is: "Wake up, and start installing access points before you lose your market!"

There will be ten times as many Bluetooth devices as wireless LAN nodes, according to analyst Lars Godell; but Wireless LAN (WLAN) will dominate for PC access, especially in public "hot spots" like airports and railway stations.

The forecast number of Bluetooth phones and PDAs means "Bluetooth will outnumber WLAN by ten to one in 2006--235 million Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones, PDAs and laptops, versus 22 million WLAN-enabled devices," predicts Godell.

With a few Nordic exceptions, Europe's telcos haven't moved out of the trial mode with WLAN services and Bluetooth isn't even on their radar screens," according to Godell.  He says they must "wake up, and take part in the hotspot land grab now, before the most attractive hotspot locations and most lucrative business customers have been taken by competitors like MVNOs (mobile virtual network operators) and new wireless ISPs (WISPs)."

The Forrester report dismisses recent pronouncements by some pundits who have expressed scepticism about Bluetooth. Wireless LAN will reach most notebook PCs, but "Bluetooth will go everywhere else, becoming the preferred choice for mobile phones, PDAs, and consumer gadgets, and winning on cost, power consumption and support for real-time applications like voice," says Godell.

In 2006, the report predicts, Bluetooth will be present in 73 percent of phones and 44 percent of PDAs. It will rule device-to-device communication, enabling seamless communication between phones, printers, PDAs and scanners in the office and between phones, smart home control units, TVs and VCRs in the home, as well as delivering powerful vertical solutions.

More information about Forrester can be found on the market studies page.


N38:TI launches sub-$5 Bluetooth RF chipset  (if you buy 1m !)
Expects to ship 30-60m units in 2002
Texas Instruments has already started to ship Bluetooth chipsets at a price less than $5 and it expects to have shifted nearly a million units by the end of this year. 

$5 chips are seen as a crucial factor if the short-range wireless specification is to be taken up by PC, PDA and handset makers, and last month, Broadcom said that it had broken the $5 barrier (see N23) with a Bluetooth radio chip that can be integrated with other firm's baseband chips.  "There are many big customers in the cellphone market that we are working with that are not sure this is the right way to go," David Shefler, business development manager at TI.  Some would rather work with an integrated baseband controller, which the sub-$5 TI chipset offers. "Our RF-only solution is below $3," he added.

In order to get the sub-$5 price for the TI chipset, customers have to buy about a million units. This shouldn't be a problem for handset manufacturers, which typically expect to build at least that number of units in a production run for a single model. However, it could deter some of the PDA and other device manufacturers, which are just now starting to dip a toe into Bluetooth waters.   Shefler said the firm is looking to sell into the mobile phone, printer and peripheral market. He said the company is already working with customers but refused to name any.

TI expects the Bluetooth chipset market to really take off in 2002, when it expects to ship 30 million to 60 million Bluetooth chipsets. The firm is also working on more fully integrating its chipset so that the functionality can be offered on a single chip.

Details of Texas Instruments can be found on The Wireless Directory on the Development Kits Semiconductors RF ICs and  Semiconductors - Baseband & Controllers pages.

For details from the original source click here.

N37:QUALCOMM to ship Bluetooth Chipset
Wireless technology developer Qualcomm Inc. has begun shipping it's cellular chipsets that comply with the Bluetooth wireless networking standard. 

The MSM5100, the first Bluetooth-compliant chipset it has shipped, is to be included in over 50 cellphone models by third-party manufacturers.

The MSM1500 has been designed to comply with Qualcomm's Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) 2000 1x cellular network standard, which facilitates the delivery of high-speed wireless Internet data and increased network voice capacity. The firm believes the chipset can support data downloads of up to 307 kb per second, which would be five times faster than dial-up landline modems - fast enough for streaming video applications.

N36:Sony Ericsson to release Bluetooth earpieces

A new wearable device from Sony Ericsson, the Bluetooth Handsfree HBH-20, a joint venture of the two electronics makers, will eliminate the need for a wire between a cell phone and earphone, linking the two through a wireless connection. To be released next month, the device is about half the size of a credit card, and clips onto clothing. A radio connection keeps the phone and the card in contact, while an earpiece and microphone connected to the card can be pulled out when needed. While the price for the product, the Bluetooth Handsfree HBH-20, has not been released, its predecessor, which required a person to hook the entire device around the ear, costs about $200.

Details about Ericsson's Bluetooth products can be found on the following pages: Access Points, Headsets, Mobile Phones, Webpads, Developments Tools, IP for Silicon, Test Houses, Applications Software, Software Developer Tools, and Protocol Stack pages. 

For Ericsson's press release click here.


N35:Fake Bluetooth earphones sold in Beijing!!
Fake Bluetooth earphones have been being sold for over a month despite the fact that Ericsson, the sole company that makes earphones using such technology, received permission to sell the product in China just two weeks ago.

Ericsson’s Bluetooth wireless earphones have not yet been sold in the country, the Oct. 11 Beijing Chenbao (Beijing Morning Post) reported.

Zhang Yinghong, a manager at Ericsson (China) Co., said that products made with Bluetooth wireless technology are difficult to replicate. He noted that the earphones currently being sold are defective, and they are not covered by repair warranties.

Over a month ago, Ericsson launched a Bluetooth wireless cellphone in China with the model number T39MC. The cellphone includes a handset and a Bluetooth wireless earphone. Although the government approved the sale of the product on the Chinese market only recently, many customers saw it on the market a month ago.

Industry insiders said that some businesspeople who saw the great potential for Bluetooth wireless earphones bought the product from Hong Kong, made very cheap replicas and then sold them in Beijing at a higher price than the real Ericsson products.

A majority of these Bluetooth wireless earphones are fake, and the rest are smuggled, they said.

For details from China Online click here.


N34:TDK to release range of Bluetooth accessories

To be known as the 'Go Blue' range. It includes a clip-on device for handheld computers and a USB adapter for laptops and PCs.  TDK says its accessories will help spur the emergence of Bluetooth, allowing users to quickly transfer data between laptops, PDAs, PCs and mobile phones.

"We've focused strongly on interoperability," said Managing Director Nick Hunn. "Users can travel light with our products in their pocket or briefcase and then just clip them onto their PDA or laptop to connect to other Bluetooth devices and exchange data." The company will be exhibiting the range at the SMAU trade fair in Milan.

Expect to see TDK added soon to The Wireless Directory.....

N33:Bluelabs and Free2Move announce partnership for Bluetooth development
BlueLabs and Free2Move have signed a cooperation agreement in Bluetooth wireless communication. As a result, BlueLabs will develop customer applications and modifications for products in Free2Move’s portfolio.

"By cooperating with BlueLabs, we can provide complete solutions to the market," says Per-Arne Wiberg, President of Free2Move. "We selected BlueLabs as a partner because of its high level of competence and experience in the development of high-technology systems."

"By cooperating with Free2Move, we can cut development times in our projects by utilizing fully developed technology," says Otto Lilja, Bluetooth Project Manager at BlueLabs. "We anticipate great potential in the development of Bluetooth-based systems and are now beginning to see many interesting Bluetooth products. In particular, we can expect to see many new Bluetooth applications in the industrial sector in the near future."

Interest in the products Free2Move has developed to date is great and they are being used in a number of customer applications, as evident at this week’s Scandinavian Technical Fair in Stockholm.

Expect to to Free2Move and Bluelabs company offerings added to The Wireless Directory soon...


For details from the original source click here.

N32:Thinkpads A30p Incorporates Bluetooth
IBM have announced that their ThinkPad notebook range is to have a number of enhancements including built-in wireless LAN capabilities, embedded security chips and new disk imaging technology.  Specifically one model, the A30p desktop replacement, is fitted with integrated Bluetooth, Ethernet and modem, without using any PC Card slots. 


N31:New Bluetooth Spec for Cars and Phones
The Bluetooth SIG have said that it has developed a definition about how Bluetooth should work with the use of mobile phones in cars.  The SIG's Car Working Group released the definition as part of a new hands-free profile. The profile is expected to the adopted soon and prototype products are expected by the end of the year. The profile will enable products that implement the Bluetooth specification to automatically establish a connection between a phone brought into the car and the car's hands-free system.

In an announcement, the group said that the hands-free profile is the first of several application-level specifications that the working group is expected to deliver, although it provided no details about what those enhancements to the Bluetooth specification will be.

For the original Bluetooth SIG press release of the news click here.

N30:Global Communications Devices raise $15.6 Million for financing further company development 
This maker of chips for wireless networking products has raised $15.6 million for further company development in its second round of financing for product development and adding staff and space. The startup produces general-purpose, highly integrated, transceiver chips for local area, wide area, and personal area networks. Initial products support industry standards such as IEEE 802.11a, b, and g standards as well as Bluetooth and HomeRF.

Expect to see Global Communications Devices added to The Wireless Directory shortly....

For details of the original source click here.

N29:Ericsson unveils Bluetooth software to make it cheaper for new products

A new solution, the Bluetooth Embedded Stack from Ericsson Technology Licensing is aimed at helping lower the cost of developing Bluetooth products. 

"This software package will help the Bluetooth industry increase the number of Bluetooth products," says Maria Khorsand, President at Ericsson Technology Licensing. The implementation costs are reduced by using only one processor, for the application and for the software that enables Bluetooth functionality. The software package targets small Bluetooth-enabled products, like headsets, computer accessories and industrial applications.

For the original Ericsson press release of the news click here.

N28:IBM and Citizen work together to make new Bluetooth watch computer
IBM and Citizen (Japanese watchmaker) have announced that they are working together developing new prototypes of IBM's WatchPad wearable computer.  The wristwatch computer works will work as a personal digital assistant, and also as a controller for PCs, using Bluetooth. It has IrDA, RS232C, and Bluetooth network interfaces. Version 1.1 of Bluetooth, the version used for the prototype.

The WatchPad 1.5, a wristwatch-sized device measuring 2.5 by 1.8 by .6 inches and weighing 1.5 ounces, runs Linux on a 32-bit ARM processor at a maximum speed of 74 MHz. It has 8MB of DRAM and 16MB of flash memory, a speaker and a microphone.  It has a reflective monochrome liquid crystal display QVGA screen, a fingerprint recognition device for security, and a sensor that detects the user's hand movements. 

IBM unveiled its first-generation WatchPad 1.0 prototype last year, and has since exhibited it at a number of trade shows. Further developments on the watch have been to reduce it's power consumption, and increase processor speed.

 

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Last modified: Wednesday December 03, 2003.

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