As we became increasingly more reliant on
USB for most of the devices that connected to our system the nest of
cables behind the average computer continued to grow.
Bluetooth was released a couple of years following the initial release
of USB and grew in popularity because it offered computer users a way to
connect precious devices to the computer without worrying about the
tangle of wires behind the computer and the inevitable "creative" wiring
options required to connect two computers and printers located across
Bluetooth took off in Europe
and Asia Bluetooth has become very popular in
Europe and Asia. Not only is Bluetooth popular with computer users, but
also cell phone users looking for a way to use a hands-free headset
without worrying about hauling around another wire. For some reason the
technology became very popular abroad, but many US computer and cell
phone users had security concerns about the technology or were
unimpressed with its relatively low speed for data-intensive
We are on the verge of a
revolution in connectivity Wireless USB offers
the convenience of Bluetooth with the security and seamless integration
of current USB technology. In addition, the first release of Wireless
USB (aka WUSB) will allow you to use legacy USB devices wirelessly.
Here's how it will work - you will plug a Wireless USB dongle into your
desktop or laptop and then plug the Wireless USB hub into an external
power supply - this could range from a few feet to several meters away.
Then you could plug your USB devices into the Wireless USB hub and use
them as if they were attached directly to your computer. This would be
especially useful for a printer, scanner or any other device you might
want to share with local computers but not necessarily over a network.
Differences between Bluetooth
and Wireless USB The most obvious difference
between Bluetooth and Wireless USB is the speed - empirically you will
generally 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 application which may require the transfer of
sensitive data or information.
Time frame on Wireless USB
Wireless USB dongles and hubs are currently in production and should be
available for purchase in the first quarter of 2006. A few manufacturers
have already received approval from the FCC and other standards
Is Wireless USB right for you
If you can hold off a couple of months to try out a really cool wireless
technology I highly recommend that you consider WUSB. It may take some
time to refine the protocols and iron out a few bugs in the design but
the wait should be well worth it.