Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Use Bluetooth? With a Nextel?

Well then this may fall into the "what have you done for me lately" category.

When I joined my current employer I found out that we are one of the largest users of Nextel phones around. At the same time we had been turned on to a couple of technologies that would really benefit from the use of Bluetooth on a Nextel phone. One of those uses was the Anoto Digital Pen (see post coming soon). The other was for a way for our field technicians to synchronize in the field via a dial-up network connection. The bad part? Nextel didn't have a Bluetooth phone.

We had several meetings discussing how the application we had could run on the J2ME environment already in the i58 (Condor) phone. Discussions about the new phone took place both with Nextel and Motorola. The new phone would offer even more Java capabilities and we asked for Bluetooth and a way for an enterprise to better manage software applications on the phone. We also asked for a large display, rugged capabilites and a candybar design (flips wouldn't last in our techs hands). For whatever reason one of the parties had a real issue incorporating Bluetooth into their phones. They didn't want to do it. Reasons for this ranged from security issues to resource availability. Yet they kept falling farther behind other carriers and they didn't seem to care. Bluetooth to them was an end-user feature for headsets not for data transfer(s) and business use.

After many discussions and examples of use we got much of what we asked for. We provided devices that we wanted to work with the Bluetooth profile being developed and we asked to be kept in the loop on software developments. Sadly the software side didn't quite pan out the way we hoped (automated remote software installation capabilities were missing) and the phone keypad was already locked down by the time we saw an initial prototype and provided our feedback saying it was insufficient but we did have Bluetooth.

So remember me if you have used an i605 with Bluetooth.

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