Bluetooth With Afterburners: Version 3.0 Puts The Wi-Fi Pedal To The Metal

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Looks like the iPhone ain't the only tech gizmo with a highly-anticipated Version 3.0 in the offing.

The Bluetooth Special Interests Group, meeting in Tokyo this week, announced that Bluetooth 3.0 would offer an eight-fold increase in data-transfer speed, putting it in the same throughput category as full-on Wi-Fi.

In essence, Bluetooth 3.0 piggybacks on Wi-Fi.  The spec implements an 802.11 wireless chip to kick transfer speeds up from the current rate of 3 Mbps to 24 Mbps, and does so on a dynamic, as-needed basis.  Put simply, when two Bluetooth 3.0 devices pair — and realize they're spraying a buttload of bits at one another — they'll automatically switch to the faster Wi-Fi protocol.  As throughput requirements throttle back, the devices will downshift to "plain vanilla" Bluetooth.

Interestingly, the iPhone is doing essentially the opposite of the new Bluetooth 3.0
specification: bringing PC networking features down to Bluetooth
instead, making it a secondary networking protocol designed to discover other nearby devices using Bonjour.  Also, Apple devices already support full 802.11g wireless speeds, and the next-gen iPhone is reported to bump it up all the way to 802.11n.

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