Socket Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq:SCKT, PSE:SOK) today announced an evaluation program to help designers add Bluetooth wireless connectivity to intelligent mobile devices such as portable printers, digital cameras and handheld scanners. Expected to be available in early Q1, 2001, Socket's Bluetooth Evaluation Kit for Embedded Systems will include hardware and software to make it easy for designers to test the operation of Socket's miniature Bluetooth modules with a broad range of custom portable devices whose size, target cost or usage profile make embedded Bluetooth connections preferable to conventional Bluetooth plug-in cards.
Each kit will include one of Socket's small form-factor Bluetooth hardware modules plus a versatile adapter board that will allow the module to communicate with a standard computer interface for development and testing purposes. Socket's modules will support both intelligent appliances capable of running complete Bluetooth software on the embedded operating system, and simple devices that will run more limited Bluetooth instructions within the module. The initial kits will be compatible with the Windows CE operating system, and Socket will add support for additional embedded operating systems as the market demands. Socket also plans to offer OEM customers complete Bluetooth engineering design, prototyping and testing services, making it easy for developers to add Bluetooth to existing electronic devices.
"Feedback from our Bluetooth development partners has indicated there is a strong demand for a comprehensive, small form-factor Bluetooth solution that can be economically and easily embedded into electronic devices," said John Doub, director, Socket's Bluetooth program. "The Bluetooth Evaluation Kit for Embedded Systems will be a great complement to our existing Bluetooth Personal Network Card Evaluation Kit and will help accelerate the deployment of Bluetooth technology by making it easy to wirelessly enable both new and existing devices."
Intermec Technologies Corp., a UNOVA Inc. (NYSE:UNA) company, has sampled Socket's Bluetooth modules and intends to use them to wirelessly enable future Intermec products including handheld computers, data collection scanners and printers. "We are excited about working with Socket to add Bluetooth wireless connectivity to our product line," said Greg Smith, vice president of Intermec's Wireless Product Group. "Socket has proven to be a valuable development partner and a leading-edge supplier of Bluetooth technology for mobile devices."
Socket recently announced a partnership with Intrinsyc (CDNX:ICS) to create complete embedded-system reference platforms that will combine Socket's Bluetooth modules with Intrinsyc's single-board computers, providing an easy, compact and low-cost solution for adding Bluetooth functionality to OEM product designs. "Intrinsyc and Socket's Bluetooth embedded solutions will put OEMs on the fast track to wirelessly enable virtually any product," said Derek Spratt, Chairman and CEO of Intrinsyc.
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