Question 1 :
What companies are involved in the Bluetooth initiative?
Global technology leaders Ericsson, Nokia, IBM, Intel and Toshiba founded the Bluetooth SIG in 1998. These companies are now supported by over 1,000 other organizations with a wide range of expertise, including Widcomm, Inc.
Question 2 :
Are different brands of Bluetooth products compatible?
Yes. They have to. The Bluetooth Logo Certification Program requires Bluetooth products to interoperate with products manufactured by other vendors; those products that don't interoperate will not be allowed to use the Bluetooth logo.
Question 3 :
Is Bluetooth practical for use with mobile devices?
Yes. One concern for mobile computing users is power consumption. Bluetooth radios are very low power, drawing as little as 0.3mA in standby mode and 30mA during sustained data transmissions. Bluetooth radios alternate among power-saving modes in which device activity is lowered to maximize the mobile power supply.
Question 4 :
What kind of encryption will be used for Bluetooth security?
The Bluetooth specification 1.0 describes the link encryption algorithm as a stream cipher using 4 LFSR (linear feedback shift registers). The sum of the width of the LFSRs is 128, and the spec says "the effective key length is selectable between 8 and 128 bits". This arrangement allows Bluetooth to be used in countries with regulations limiting encryption strength, and "facilitate a future upgrade path for the security without the need for a costly redesign of the algorithms and encryption hardware" according to the Bluetooth specification. Key generation and authentication seems to be using the 8-round SAFER+ encryption algorithm. The information available suggests that Bluetooth security will be adequate for most purposes; but users with higher security requirements will need to employ stronger algorithms to ensure the security of their data.
Question 5 :
What is the range of Bluetooth transmitter/receivers?
Bluetooth is designed for very low power use, and the transmission range will only be 10m, about 30ft. High-powered Bluetooth devices will enable ranges up to 100m (300ft). Considering the design philosophy behind Bluetooth, even the 10m range is adequate for the purposes Bluetooth is intended for. Later versions of the Bluetooth spec may allow longer ranges.