Ozmo Devices demoed yesterday a new personal area network (PAN) technology that employs Wi-Fi and aims to replace Bluetooth for peripherals connectivity.
The company unveiled its Wi-Fi PAN at the Computex tech trade show in Taipei. The solution comprises a software driver that delivers low-power connectivity and an ultra-low-power integrated circuit in the wireless peripheral that seamlessly communicates with the platform. It eliminates the need for a separate Bluetooth radio and delivers better power performance and faster speeds than Bluetooth, the company says.
And that will enable Ozmo’s Wi-Fi PAN to connect peripherals such as speakers, gaming controllers, remote controls, and other CE devices. Today, most people use Bluetooth to connect wireless headsets with cell phones. While it can be employed to connect a variety of other peripherals—mice, keyboards, and even printers—use of Bluetooth for these devices never really took off. And while more laptops are shipping with Bluetooth radios, Wi-Fi radios are far more common and are built into almost all portable PCs and, increasingly, in desktop PCs as well.
The battery drain of Wi-Fi has been a barrier to its use in many portable devices, but Ozmo says its new technology will reduce power usage of Wi-Fi to rates that are similar to that of Bluetooth. What’s more, the new technology will enable data-transfer rates at up to 9Mbps, which is three times faster than the speediest version of Bluetooth.
To use Ozmo's technology, PC manufacturers will need to build in the company’s software. Peripheral makers also will need to include an integrated chip from Ozmo that can connect to Wi-Fi radios. The company says consumers can expect to see the technology sometime next year. Odds of success seem sound, given that Ozmo demonstrated the Wi-Fi PAN in conjunction with Intel, and peripherals heavyweight Belkin has already announced that it will include the technology in its peripherals.