A much faster version of Bluetooth is on the way, and officials with the Bluetooth Special Interest Group say products using the wireless protocol may be on the market as early as 2007. The next-generation Bluetooth is said to operate at similar distances (around 30 feet, best case) to today's Bluetooth 2.0 but is a lot faster, capable of wireless transfers at a rate of 480Mbps. That's 60MB per second, fast enough for high definition videoconferencing or moving files around at a fairly rapid clip.
That kind of speed blows the doors off Bluetooth 2.0, which pokes along at a mere
721Kbps 2.1 Mbps. The new Bluetooth gets its exponentially faster speed by teaming up with ultra wideband technology (UWB). But there are other contenders using similar tech such as Wireless USB (also 480Mbps), and it's hard to tell how these various protocols will compete with each other. The way we see it, Bluetooth is for near-distance, or personal area networking and Wireless USB has farther reach. But with the increased distance of Wireless USB, what would be the point of a shorter-distance protocol such as Bluetooth? Looks like we might have a horserace on our hands. Commenters, thoughts?