This wireless technology
enables communication between Bluetooth-compatible devices. It is
used for short-range connections between desktop and laptop
computers, PDAs (like the Palm Pilot or Handspring Visor), digital
cameras, scanners, cellular phones, and printers.
Infrared once served the same purpose as Bluetooth, but it had a
number of drawbacks. For example, if there was an object placed
between the two communicating devices, the transmission would be
interrupted. (You may have noticed this limitation when using a
television remote control). Also, the Infrared-based communication
was slow and devices were often incompatible with each other.
Bluetooth takes care of all these limitations. Because the
technology is based on radio waves, there can be objects or even
walls placed between the communicating devices and the connection
won't be disrupted. Also, Bluetooth uses a standard 2.4 GHz
frequency so that all Bluetooth-enabled devices will be compatible
with each other. The only drawback of Bluetooth is that, because of
its high frequency, its range is limited to 30 feet. While this is
easily enough for transferring data within the same room, if you are
walking in your back yard and want to transfer the address book from
your cell phone to your computer in your basement, you might be out
of luck. However, the short range can be seen as a positive aspect
as well, since it adds to the security of Bluetooth communication.