Innovation

Sep 24
2009

If you follow the news items that we collect on this sight, you may have noticed that we don’t post very much “ordinary” news. A quick search of the web can find tons of new Bluetooth phones, headsets, etc. any day. Bluetooth headsets are great, but there isn’t a lot of new ground being broken in that area. We try to find more innovative ideas, products that find a new, clever use for Bluetooth technology.

We can never predict all of the things a technology will be used for. Did the pioneers of the personal computer know that people would be using the PC as a device to buy, store and play music? Did the folks developing the Internet see Amazon coming? I doubt it.

Right now the place where we’re seeing the most innovation take place isn’t in Bluetooth, it’s the iPhone. The iPhone App Store offers over 65,000 apps and counting. Many of these have taken simple technology, such as the GPS and accelerometer built in to the iPhone and come up with some really interesting ways to use them, many of which I’m sure were never envisioned by Apple. These can be silly (iBeer, Shotgun), or actually useful, such as a free carpenters level (yes, it really works) and Bump, an application that transfers data from one iPhone to another when you bump the two phones (gently) into one another. I’m guessing that the design team at Apple didn’t have these applications in mind when they decided to build an accelerometer into the iPhone. GPS is used for all sorts of apps that find businesses or events near you, but clever minds have also come up with programs to locate discounts at local stores, or integrate your location into other applications in ways that make those apps more useful, providing local news or weather, for example.

We can certainly imagine what many of the products to use the new Bluetooth specifications, High Speed and Bluetooth low energy, will be, but what about the uses we can’t think of? These technologies will provide opportunities for Bluetooth developers to flex their mental muscles a bit. Will they show the kind of innovation we’ve seen from iPhone developers? Let’s see what they come up with.

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