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Bluetooth boomtime

What?! You still don't have a Bluetooth-enabled cellphone?

Photo: AFP

The next stop has to be the ballpoint pen. That moment of digitised future is not far when all you will need to do is carry a ballpoint to make a call, check your email, synchronise your calendar, browse the net, click a picture, build an online photo album, watch a movie and yes, jot down a number just in case the built-in memory features run out of their gigantesque storage space.

Now, take a guess about the latest buzz in office floors. If Bluetooth-enabled phones is your answer, full points. Boman, a finance executive with a BPO firm, is very happy with Bluetooth-enabled phones as they promise freedom from wires. "I can converse through a headset, make presentations, and get a printout while sitting in my car. Moreover, it makes driving a vehicle a lot easier." Why, there is even talk of helmets being fitted with Bluetooth speakers for riders!

"You could send your business cards to Bluetooth users around," quips in Mandeep Brar, an ambitious young HR professional.

"The most important feature of Bluetooth phones is the internet connectivity and interface with other devices like your laptop or PC," says Prashant, senior manager with a top-notch multinational. "I can actually download a file from my PC while driving to work. I can browse the net while stuck in traffic," adds Monita, a content editor. Putting it simply, you carry connectivity with people as well as a range of devices.

"Bluetooth enables your cell phone to interact intelligently with other Bluetooth devices that are active around you," says Mohammad Unis, owner of a cellphone retail outlet. It enables links between portable computers, mobile phones, hand-held devices and connectivity to the Internet."

Interfacing a phone and a laptop, picture conference with a client, transferring files sans the requisite cables and wiring are the applications that are being enthusiastically welcomed by the professional of the day. On the flip side, however, the technology hasn't gone down well with a section of professionals. "It's a telephone, so use it as one for god's sake," snaps Tanya, an HR professional with a BPO firm. Many like her feel that these additional features in mobile phones are a waste and merely ways of encroaching on the personal space of the general public. `Bluesnarfing', clandestine theft of your mobile contents and `Bluejacking', which involves sending messages to any Bluetooth device around by concealing the number of the sender, could be how the technology could be potentially misused. But the problems come with solutions too. "You could go into the menu and turn Bluetooth off or to `undiscoverable' mode, which renders it invisible to miscreant devices. Avoid accepting unknown or doubtful files," says Rohit, a finance official with another BPO.

Where it is fast becoming a dernier cri to carry a Bluetooth phone, there are many like Tanya who feel that most people don't have a clue on how to use it. Bluetooth might stand for "short-range radio specification focused on communication between the Internet and Net devices", but for the users it simply is a medium to check e-mail on the cellphone or being able to switch on the television when the elusive remote does the disappearing act yet again.

DEEPSHIKHA MEHTA

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