Bluetooth under threat from new wireless tech
28th Jul 2008 | 07:23
Souped-up infrared promises ultra-fast data links
It's only six months since we first clapped eyes on it in the research labs, but KDDI's new super-fast version of the wireless infrared link appears ready for the prime time.
The Japanese telco's Giga-IR technology has been demonstrated at a trade show this week near Tokyo, where gadget makers were able to get a hands-on with the 1Gbit/s alternative to Bluetooth.
Unlike standard infrared, which has an upper limit of 4Mbit/s, Giga-IR can be used to share large amounts of data between devices.
KDDI says it has deliberately targeted a higher class of wireless link to distinguish Giga-IR from Bluetooth and other cable-free rivals.
A spokesperson said, "We aimed at a sharp increase in data rates, considering rates of around 100Mbit/s are not fast enough to differentiate our technology from existing wireless technologies."
Blink of an eye
At 1Gbit/s, the new technique could be used to send an entire album from a PC to a mobile device in just half a second. Other uses include connecting printers, video recorders and TVs.
As for the more prosaic effects that hardware builders are likely to be interested in, the laser-based Giga-IR is likely to cost about the same as an IR module and to take up no more space inside a gadget.