Most consumers see Bluetooth as merely a way to wireless pair a cell phone with a headset, but the technology is capable of transferring files, and even can be used by advertisers. The Bluetooth group wants to see the technology used for a variety of purposes, and said the 3.0 version will have dramatically increased speeds to transfer photos, videos, music, and other files within seconds.
One of the ways Bluetooth 3.0 will speed up transfers is by utilizing Wi-Fi via an 802.11 Protocol Adaption Layer. With this, a Bluetooth 3.0 device will be able to pair with another device, and use Wi-Fi for the data transfer. If there's no Wi-Fi present, Bluetooth will be used. The new version also will have Enhanced Power Control, which is meant to reduce the number of disconnects that are caused by things like putting the cell phone in a pocket.
The move comes as Bluetooth is facing a bit of competition in the wireless transfer market. Near Field Communication technology can provide a secure, wireless way to transfer data, and it could be critical for mobile payment. Nokia has released an NFC-equipped handset that can be tied to a credit card account and swiped against a specially designed terminal for contactless payments.
Sony also is trying to bring out a wireless protocol standard, and it said TransferJet can transfer data at 560 Mbps. It's expected to be in multiple Sony laptops, cell phones, and televisions, but it's unclear if it will gain widespread adoption among other manufacturers.
InformationWeek has published an in-depth report on the use of business software on smartphones. Download the report here (registration required).