Since 1999 when bluetooth was first introduced, you have probably used bluetooth for wireless keyboards, mice, headset, GPS and other peripherals cellular phones, PDAs, MP3 players, and some digital cameras. If so, you know how convenient the wireless connectivity can be. You’ve probably also connected many of those same devices up using a wired connection called USB. There is a new wireless standard that is growing called Wireless USB.
Wireless USB is the new wireless extension to USB that blends the speed and security of wired technology with the ease-of-use of wireless technology. Wireless connectivity has allowed a mobile way of life filled with conveniences for mobile computing users
Limitations of Bluetooth
Even with extensive adoption by many manufacturers, Bluetooth has been plagued by a couple of nagging issues. One major complaint is the lack of interoperability between different manufacturers’ Bluetooth devices. For example, using an LG Bluetooth headset it can be difficult connecting it with a Motorola cell phone.
Security has been another major issue with Bluetooth-enabled devices. There have been recorded instances of device “hijackings” where someone has taken control of the device through the Bluetooth link. Concerns of eavesdropping, data theft, and Bluetooth-spread viruses for PDAs, smartphones, cellphones, and computers have also been reported. These issues are being dealt with as new releases of Bluetooth are developed.
The most obvious difference between Bluetooth and Wireless USB is the speed – in general always see speeds less than 1 Mbps with Bluetooth. Wireless USB, on the other hand, is rated for 480 Mbps at 5 meters. Both technologies are slower at further distances, but Wireless USB should always be faster than Bluetooth. Another obvious difference between Bluetooth and Wireless USB is security – Bluetooth devices are highly susceptible to signal-hijacking where as the security standard for WUSB is very strict and should result in a much more secure connection – this is very important for any software program which may require the transfer of sensitive information or data.
Wireless USB looks to be a far better alternative in both security and ease of connectivity. Where Bluetooth had compatibility problems between different manufactures’ products, Wireless USB’s adherence to the previous USB standards and thus should serve to prevent similar problems. As far as security is concerned, Bluetooth relies on a four-digit pin code to ensure that the correct device is being connected to, where as Wireless USB is looking at using an actual USB cable to make the initial connection, after which the device can be used wirelessly.
Which to choose?
Well wireless USB does seem to be a better solutions, however since at this time Wireless USB is not as common as bluetooth Wireless USB is not really an option for many things. But as with most things if it’s advantages are realized by the consumers and demand for it grows it will become more and more common for devices and accessories. So as you see the option for Wireless USB products and you make the choice between bluetooth and Wireless USB, your decision will help set the demand in the marketplace.