Wireless mobile phone technology is slowly taking over the business world, and it’s important for business owners to keep an eye on the ride to avoid being washed up.
Those who overlook wireless technology thinking it will “blow over” as a trend are to be sadly mistaken, not least because most devices, from mobile phones to personal digital assistants and laptops, now have Bluetooth capability as a standard feature. Bluetooth Beacons have become an important purchase.
Granted, Bluetooth does not have the same range as a wireless Lan, but people sitting at their desks will be in the range of a wireless Lan access point as well as a Bluetooth port on their laptops.
Version 1.2 of the Bluetooth specification is intended to reduce this interference and address a major security problem. Devices using version 1.1 are not working to that standard and it may be some time before most use version 1.2.
In Europe and the USA, Federal Express is trialing out a project which gives couriers real-time wireless access to customer information on handheld PCs. Bluetooth is used for them to communicate back with the office.
Coca-Cola has given each member of its 570-strong sales team a Bluetooth-enabled notebook. This provides a more productive working platform and increases the productivity of their sales team who have the freedom to be on the road or anywhere, yet be contactable and available for clients. The move has also significantly reduced hardware costs for the organization by eliminating the maintenance and replacement of GSM cables.
As well as the original idea for Bluetooth which is connecting wireless headsets, ideas have since become more complex. In the office, for example, Bluetooth has the potential to allow employees use their mobile phones as cordless phones linked to the PBX system.
Perhaps not surprisingly, this can even go one step further and be used a tracking device for those using them.
Take this one step further and it can be used as a tracking device for personnel, an application being tested in the Danish parliament, where MPs and their assistants use Bluetooth mobile phones and the building contains a huge Bluetooth network. The MPs are able to divert calls to their assistants when they are busy, or calls can be flagged as important that always get through, but generally the location of the MP is logged.
Bluetooth is turning out to be the little technology that turned into a vital necessity. Even back in 2006, there was an estimated install base of at least 1 billion devices worldwide. It is still a relatively new market with a lot of potential, and there is a good reason it is taking the business world by storm.
It’s not quite over for wireless headsets and office equipment, but having to rely on batteries, needing wires and not being able to move around in an ever-busying world – well – they may eventually be rendered redundant.
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