In response to the Bluetooth article "Teething Pains" published by the Boston Globe on November 11th, Bob Frankston provides some notable insights and criticism of the wireless networking technology’s design.
We should learn from the example of X.400. X.400 was (is?) a mail protocol approved and required by essentially all the telecommunication agencies throughout the world. It was designed over a period of ten years yet failed against SMTP (Simple Mail Transport Protocol) which could be implemented in an afternoon. Like x.400, the Bluetooth was designed and promulgated before anyone could learn from the first generation. Bluetooth is designed to work in the specific cases imagined by its designers and thus will perform very well in precisely those scenarios and these are the scenarios touted in press releases.
Bluetooth is in the mainstream of the old model of telecommunications in which all the services are defined by the center and every new capability must be approved before it can be deployed and thus before we even understand it. 802.11 is simply a transport for packets and doesn’t stand in the way of creating new capabilities.
Once again we face a familiar paradox. Bluetooth which defines so much of the solution is thus limited to what it defines and that is very little and it only works among a few nearby devices. 802.11 which makes few promises inherits the existing richness of the Internet Protocols and has no such limits of distance.
What are your thoughts and experiences with Bluetooth?