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Happy 20th Birthday Bluetooth! What Comes Next?

bluetooth_turns_twenty_400With all the recent buzz about wearable technology, biometrics, and smart appliances, it can be easy to forget about a much older technology that is still providing tremendous value. Bluetooth. Believe it or not, Bluetooth is celebrating its 20th birthday this year, having been invented by Ericsson in 1994.

We still see busy people wearing Bluetooth headsets that link with their cell phones for calls, and it comes with the majority of new cars and audio devices, like speakers and headphones. Also, let’s not forget about new smart televisions that utilize Bluetooth technology too. Bluetooth is everywhere, and you might even find it on your next business trip.

Check Into Your Hotel Room Using Bluetooth!
Thanks to Bluetooth innovation, instead of waiting in a lengthy line to check in at your hotel, you can now immediately go to your room! A traveler using Bluetooth would have no reason to check in and grab a room key because their Bluetooth-enabled smartphone is the key. A traveler would simply download an app, and once everything is paid for, a room would be assigned. Next, with the tap of your smartphone, the room could be accessed.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide is beta-testing the technology at two separate locations in Silicon Valley and Manhattan. Moreover, the company is looking to expand this technological possibility to its entire luxury W and Aloft hotel chain by the end of 2015, which currently represents 123 locations. If this technology catches on, it could be a game changer with large chain hotels and home security.

The Bluetooth Listening Experience
Bluetooth is quite literally changing the way we listen to media as well, thanks to personal sound amplifier products (PSAPs). Some hearing-impaired users are even using PSAPs as replacements for traditional hearing aids. At $300, the CS10 model costs substantially less than a hearing aid. The Bluetooth device can also be programmed and controlled by an individual via their smartphone.

Other hearing aid manufacturers are now playing catch up with this Bluetooth technology and they’re finding new ways to implement it. GN ReSound plans on releasing its made-for-iPhone hearing aid, the ReSound LiNX, in the first quarter of this year. Another manufacture, Embrace Hearing, is now developing a device that will allow people with older hearing aids with Bluetooth, to adjust program settings themselves. Advanced Bionics has also released the Naida, a sound processor which allows cochlear implants to connect with Bluetooth devices.

Bluetooth technology continues to evolve by finding its way into a plethora of new devices. Bluetooth isn’t going anywhere and people are still finding and implementing new and inventive ways to use it. Even at 20 years of age, Bluetooth is still coming into its own!