Bluetooth may have originally got off to quite a shaky start, with pretty serious interoperability problems on kit that supported version 1.0 and 1.0b of the standard, as manufacturers struggled to get their devices talking to each other. However, versions 1.1 and 1.2 were big improvements that solved most of these issues and went a long way toward establishing the technology as a must have on mid-range and higher-end mobile phones. Yet, as time went on, Bluetooth's low data rate of 1.1Mbps was becoming an increasing issue as mobile phones became more advanced.
Version 2.0 and 2.1 of the standard tried to address this with the new Enhanced Data Rate that bumped rates up to a theoretical maximum of 3.0Mbps and also added newer, more entertainment focussed features such as support for wireless Bluetooth stereo headsets in the form of A2DP. But, with mobiles boasting cameras with ever higher megapixel counts and more entrainment features such as music playback and video recording, Bluetooth is starting to look quite limited again.
Plus its tardy transfer rates are holding it back in terms of in-home adoption. This is where version 3.0 comes in. It aims to boost data transfer rates, while also helping to reduce overall power consumption. But is it enough to expand Bluetooth's reach further than its traditional home of mobile phones and mobile related devices?