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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Consumer Hardware & Components > Why Aren't Bluetooth Devices Catching On?

Why Aren't Bluetooth Devices Catching On?
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parsec_kadets
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Sep 7, 2006, 01:08 PM
 
Maybe someone else understands this, but I've been trying to figure out why bluetooth seems to be going nowhere. With so many people owning bluetooth cell phones these days, you would think there would be more products available that utilize it.

What got me thinking about this specifically are bluetooth mice. Almost all of Logitech's mice are stuck in 1998 with their FastRF or whatever it is, thus requireing a dongle since that's proprietary Logitech hardware that isn't built in to any computer available today. The only way to get a bluetooth mouse from them is to either sacrafice lots of features, or buy one of their two most expensive wireless desktop setups. And Microsoft hasn't updated theirs for eons. It appears almost as if Logitech refuses to embrace bluetooth, and Microsoft just doesn't care. Why all this ambivolince from the two largest peripferal manufactures? Is bluetooth turning out to be a flop that's destined to be nothing more than a gimik to sell cell phones?
     
iREZ
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Sep 7, 2006, 03:05 PM
 
mhmmm...thats what it seems.

im quite bothered that there are no bluetooth laser mouses other than apples mighty mouse currently on the market (without having to buy an entire keyboard setup), pretty pretty sad.
NOW YOU SEE ME! 2.4 MBP and 2.0 MBP (running ubuntu)
     
MichiganRich
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Sep 7, 2006, 03:12 PM
 
I think it's because it doesn't have a catchy name, like firewire...

hang on a sec....

oh... it does?... uhm... never mind.

Got nothin'. My car has bluetooth. I like swapping pics from my cellphone into my 17"PB with it (bluetooth, not my car). I am puzzled by the lack of marketing traction, as it seems a superior short-distance link that is already developed and mature.
     
Leonard
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Sep 7, 2006, 03:27 PM
 
Maybe it's because alot of people are playing games and would you want your mouse/keyboard cutting out in the middle of fragging someone? Besides, I've found Logitech mice to break down quickly in games. I don't know why, but the left or right button will just stop working after a few months. I eventually gave up buy more expensive mice and just bought the cheapest optical mouse with a scrollwheel.
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Apfhex
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Sep 7, 2006, 06:15 PM
 
Well for one, some cell providers like to cripple the bluetooth on their phones *points at Verizon*. I use the bluetooth on my unbranded cell all the time though, to transfer files to/from the phone, for use with a bluetooth headset, and I can even remote control my Mac.

I do wish Logitech would get a clue and use real bluetooth instead of FastRF.

At least Apple's using it fairly well, but bluetooth needs to become a standard feature on Macs instead of a CTO option so that people will begin to have it. That's possibly why it's no doing so well. Plenty of computers come with 802.11 devices, very few with BT as part of a standard configuration (none that I've heard of).
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ghporter
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Sep 7, 2006, 09:03 PM
 
There are some limitations to Bluetooth that make it impractical or not as useful as it might be in some situations. Remember that it's supposed to be for short-range computer peripheral connections, so it's optimized for basic data transfer-without much security. Even the newest BT stuff doesn't have much in the way of security, though the latest standard seems to be better than it used to be. But saying that, I got a surprise a week or two ago when someone I didn't know appeared to try to connect to my phone in a restaurant...

And another reason the BT isn't "on fire" is that it's so flexible that it's hard to nail a particular niche for it. I got a tiny little BT dongle for $10 and installed it on my desktop PC-it will do so much that it needs an application just to let you know what it's doing! That's kind of daunting for a new product developer (or a developer of a new angle on an existing product).

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Landos Mustache
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Sep 8, 2006, 01:05 PM
 
I HATE bluetooth even though I use it daily.

It eats battery like no tomorrow
It has bad range
It is on the same 2.4GHz as everything else like airport and cordless phones
Pairing is a pain
It is slow
Did I mention it eats battery?

I can't wait till wireless USB or a much improved bluetooth.

"Hello, what have we here?
     
Ric_D
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Sep 9, 2006, 10:35 AM
 
Wow. Apparently I live in a parallel universe where Bluetooth works great. For the past 4 years I've used various Bluetooth phones on T-Mobile and have enjoyed using iSync to sync my calendars and contacts through Bluetooth. I transfer files through Bluetooth when needed. I use a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse (both Apple) with my PowerBook. And I use a Bluetooth headset with my mobile phone. Everything works flawlessly.
     
fisherKing
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Sep 9, 2006, 11:15 AM
 
i'm loving it too.

kensington bluetooth mouse, tracks great, never drops out.
bluetooth homemade ringtones from my mac to my razr.
pics from my razr to my mac or my palm t3.
sync my t3 to ical & address book.

all basic stuff, all wireless. nice.
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And that is what you all are: inverted Nothings...with potential" (Sun Ra)
     
Dark Helmet
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Sep 10, 2006, 02:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by Ric_D
Wow. Apparently I live in a parallel universe where Bluetooth works great.
Perhaps it is the same parallel universe where people say the same about Windows and American cars.

"She's gone from suck to blow!"
     
fisherKing
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Sep 10, 2006, 03:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by Dark Helmet
Perhaps it is the same parallel universe where people say the same about Windows and American cars.


hmmm..
i don't know about windows, or american cars (hey, i live in manhattan, sans car).
but bluetooth works great here...
(as i mentioned above).

"At first, there was Nothing. Then Nothing inverted itself and became Something.
And that is what you all are: inverted Nothings...with potential" (Sun Ra)
     
parsec_kadets  (op)
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Sep 11, 2006, 12:54 AM
 
I agree, Bluetooth works great. I sync with my v330 and use BluePhone Elite every day, and I have my Apple Bluetooth keyboard. But hate the Mighty Mouse. So that leaves me looking for one from someone else. I've always loved Logitech mice, and I use one every day at work and home. But the choices for Bluetooth mice are very limited. Also, try looking for a Bluetooth split keyboard. It's an exercise in frustration. This is what made me ask the question to begin with. Is this because Bluetooth is too expensive, or chewa through batteries too quickly, or is it simply because users don't care? I personally hate giving up a USB port when I don't have to.
     
Dark Helmet
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Sep 11, 2006, 06:46 PM
 
I never said it didn't work.. I said the way it works is not the most efficient thing in the world.

"She's gone from suck to blow!"
     
Raymate
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Sep 17, 2006, 08:40 AM
 
Perhaps it's a US thing everyone uses BT in the UK, cars have it for phones, most sat-nav has it. Perhaps as the law require you not to use a mobile phone when driving, BT headset are everywhere in the UK.

Not many mobile phones dont have it now.

And with EDR bluetooth now with us it's go better.

I use BT for file transfer between my Macs, just when moving small files.
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PurpleGiant
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Sep 18, 2006, 02:48 AM
 
Seems that a lot of PCs still don't have it as standard. That and a lot of people aren't skilled enough to pair a device - no matter how simple.
     
Tiresias
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Sep 18, 2006, 09:38 AM
 
What's Blue Tooth?
     
fisherKing
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Sep 18, 2006, 11:21 AM
 
Originally Posted by Tiresias
What's Blue Tooth?

try google...

bluetooth is a short-range wireless protocol...
pairing a wireless headset to a mobile phone,
using a wireless mouse with a macbook
(for example)

google is your friend.


btw, what about all those using bt headsets with their phones?
seems bluettooth is doing well in that respect...
"At first, there was Nothing. Then Nothing inverted itself and became Something.
And that is what you all are: inverted Nothings...with potential" (Sun Ra)
     
tooki
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Sep 18, 2006, 12:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by parsec_kadets
Maybe someone else understands this, but I've been trying to figure out why bluetooth seems to be going nowhere. With so many people owning bluetooth cell phones these days, you would think there would be more products available that utilize it.

What got me thinking about this specifically are bluetooth mice. Almost all of Logitech's mice are stuck in 1998 with their FastRF or whatever it is...
First of all, Bluetooth cellphone headsets are everywhere now. They are the latest status symbol bling for urbanites.

Second, the reason Logitech uses its FastRF is because it has lower latency than Bluetooth. For gaming, that can be really important.

Originally Posted by iREZ
im quite bothered that there are no bluetooth laser mouses other than apples mighty mouse currently on the market (without having to buy an entire keyboard setup), pretty pretty sad.
As far as I know, there are NO Bluetooth laser mice on the market. Apple makes no laser mice -- they are optical, but they are not laser.

tooki
     
Landos Mustache
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Sep 18, 2006, 02:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by tooki
As far as I know, there are NO Bluetooth laser mice on the market. Apple makes no laser mice -- they are optical, but they are not laser.

tooki
"Laser-guided Precision
The wireless Mighty Mouse’s tracking engine is based on powerful laser technology that delivers 20 times the performance of standard optical tracking, giving you more accuracy and responsiveness on more surfaces."

"Hello, what have we here?
     
ghporter
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Sep 18, 2006, 07:06 PM
 
Is the wireless Mighty Mouse still MIA at the Apple Store? - NOPE, I just looked and there it is again after being missing...

Anyway, I'm looking forward to fiddling around with what I can do with BT on my MBP when it comes in. But I'm not expecting it to do much more than what it was originally intended to do... I think a lot of people figured Bluetooth was supposed to slice their bread, powder their bums and otherwise be "the next great thing" in computing. It's really just supposed to be a wireless "cable" for peripherals like printers... And that is the rub; it ain't better than sliced bread and optomistic users have found this out and been disappointed.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Apple2Mac
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Sep 18, 2006, 11:43 PM
 
I had the Logitech bluetooth mouse I had to change the batteries daily, I just switched to the MX revolution it lasts 3 days or so before charging... I wish blue tooth was available the the batt issue has to be figured out...
     
ChrisF
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Sep 18, 2006, 11:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by Apple2Mac
I had the Logitech bluetooth mouse I had to change the batteries daily, I just switched to the MX revolution it lasts 3 days or so before charging... I wish blue tooth was available the the batt issue has to be figured out...
I have a Logitech V270 BT Mouse, and it's still on the first set of batteries... I've been using it for at least a few hours, nearly every day, for over a month.
     
brokenjago
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Sep 19, 2006, 12:17 AM
 
Originally Posted by tooki
First of all, Bluetooth cellphone headsets are everywhere now. They are the latest status symbol bling for urbanites.
Oh god, you're so right.

I work at Fry's Electronics, and the amount of people that come in with those ridiculous BlueTooth earphones on is astounding. What's more astounding is the amount of questions I get asking where they are.
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tooki
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Sep 19, 2006, 06:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by Landos Mustache
"Laser-guided Precision
The wireless Mighty Mouse’s tracking engine is based on powerful laser technology that delivers 20 times the performance of standard optical tracking, giving you more accuracy and responsiveness on more surfaces."
Well I'll be damned!

Somehow that detail eluded me. I guess the Mighty Mouse just never impressed me in its corded form, so I never really looked at the differences in the wireless version.

tooki
     
iREZ
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Sep 20, 2006, 01:24 AM
 
i was right i was right!!!!....in your face!!!!!

sorry but i gotta gloat as this will probably be the only time ill be right and tooki will be wrong.
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anilos81
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Sep 21, 2006, 06:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by Ric_D
Wow. Apparently I live in a parallel universe where Bluetooth works great. For the past 4 years I've used various Bluetooth phones on T-Mobile and have enjoyed using iSync to sync my calendars and contacts through Bluetooth. I transfer files through Bluetooth when needed. I use a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse (both Apple) with my PowerBook. And I use a Bluetooth headset with my mobile phone. Everything works flawlessly.
Well, apparently I also live in that alternate universe because I have used this little guy for about a year with my iBook and I love it, no problems whatsoever! PilotMouse(TM) Bluetooth® Mini
     
Dark Helmet
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Sep 22, 2006, 12:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by anilos81
Well, apparently I also live in that alternate universe because I have used this little guy for about a year with my iBook and I love it, no problems whatsoever! PilotMouse(TM) Bluetooth® Mini
Perhaps you do but I'm siding with reading comprehension as for the third time... NOBODY SAID IT DOESN'T WORK!

The fact of the matter is it is not as EFFICIENT or easy to use as it should be.

"She's gone from suck to blow!"
     
spice003
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Sep 22, 2006, 05:38 PM
 
logitech MX 1000(comes with a keyboard) is a laser bluetooth mouse, i had it for a week,but its too expensive. I got a MX900 of ebay for $50 shipped came with recharble batteries. i just put it on the charger at night and its charged in the morning and its bluetooth, it takes a while for it to conect when it comes back from sleep in windows osx is quicker. i just wish that logitech made software for mac to work with bluetooth mice so i can use their features like back and front browsing buttons.
     
tooki
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Sep 23, 2006, 10:43 AM
 
Originally Posted by iREZ
i was right i was right!!!!....in your face!!!!!

sorry but i gotta gloat as this will probably be the only time ill be right and tooki will be wrong.
Perhaps. tooki does make mistakes sometimes, but as you've seen, he's always very forward about admitting when someone else was right.

tooki
     
ghporter
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Sep 23, 2006, 11:03 AM
 
Quite big of you, old man. Good show and all that...

Please note that tooki is also VERY good at pointing out when other people (like me, for instance) make mistakes-even subtle ones. Very, very good at it. Yep.

I'm still wondering about one thing with all these peripherals connecting through Bluetooth: since BT sometimes interferes with wireless networking, do multiple BT devices (maybe not connected to the same computer) interfere with each other? I've never seen any multiple connection setup beyond three of us in the same car, all with our BT phone headsets running...that worked fine, but they're all the same model of phone and headset.

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Wiskedjak
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Sep 23, 2006, 11:14 AM
 
Originally Posted by iREZ
mhmmm...thats what it seems.

im quite bothered that there are no bluetooth laser mouses other than apples mighty mouse currently on the market (without having to buy an entire keyboard setup), pretty pretty sad.
M$ Bluetooth Laser Notebook mouse
M$ Bluetooth Laser mouse
Targus Bluetooth Laser Mouse

Admittedly, none of the above are great on the design front. M$, which used to be at the front of ergonomic mouse design, has been serious lagging behind Logitech.

Logitech seems to be moving away from Bluetooth.
( Last edited by Wiskedjak; Sep 23, 2006 at 11:24 AM. )
     
slugslugslug
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Sep 23, 2006, 12:00 PM
 
What I want to know is why MS and Logitech, who both make really nice input devices and passable-to-great Mac drivers for most of them, won't make Mac drivers for their Bluetooth stuff. I don't know a lot about driver programming, but I still can't imagine the technical hurdles are any big deal, since I was under the impression that HID is some kind of abstraction layer that should allow you to get interpret the same signals from Bluetooth or USB versions of an input device.

Especially WTF-worthy is that both those companies now make a Mac-specific desktop set (though only Logitech's has a design that seems to really go with Apple hardware), and a great many shipping Macs come with Bluetooth standard, but both sets use an RF dongle.
     
Graymalkin
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Sep 23, 2006, 09:58 PM
 
Bluetooth has caught on in plenty of areas, just not every single one the Bluetooth SIG envisioned from the get-go. BT capable phones and headsets are all over the place. There's also quite a few BT mice and keyboards available. They're not the majority but they're far from being obscure. Bluetooth didn't live up to the hype in some areas but it has definitely caught on. As expected you don't see Bluetooth equipped printers or wireless hotspots. The bandwidth and range limitations of BT suck for those purposes and as such the interest in them died quickly.
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anilos81
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Sep 25, 2006, 06:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by Dark Helmet
Perhaps you do but I'm siding with reading comprehension as for the third time... NOBODY SAID IT DOESN'T WORK!

The fact of the matter is it is not as EFFICIENT or easy to use as it should be.
I never said that anyone said it DOESN"T work. I am attesting to how well it works for me, after reading the many posts about how poorly it works for many. In my experience, this particular Bluetooth mouse is as easy AND as efficient as it should be. So please check your own reading comprehension before criticizing others.
     
   
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