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Not the time for Bluetooth on the Treo

Mon Sep 6, 2004 - 4:58 PM EDT - By Michael Ducker

The Challenge

On June 14th, 2004 TreoCentral user manorton had an idea. In a post on the forums he proposed,

How about offering a reward/bribe for drivers that work with a BT SD card for the Treo 600? Perhaps we have an accumulating kitty like a reverse eBay. I'll start it with $100 and everyone else can toss in their two cents. Is it something TreoCentral could manage/publicize?

There has to be a programmer or two within Palm, HandSpring or wherever that has done some work/experimenting on this.


It was a seemingly great idea, so I pledged TreoCentral's resources to manage and publicize the idea. A day later, the TreoCentral Bluetooth Bounty was born.

A working Bluetooth driver is a driver that enables the use of a common Bluetooth SD card (Toshiba's, PalmOne's, or Socket's) in the Treo. However, Bluetooth would be useless without drivers written for certain applications. To win the bounty, this driver must enable the Treo to at minimum wirelessly sync to a desktop and exchange files through Bluetooth. The best part of Bluetooth on a Treo is the ability to use wireless Bluetooth headsets. Therefore this driver must also enable the Treo to use a Bluetooth headset (added 6/17). Ideally a driver would sync files/hotsync, work with headsets, allow the Treo to be a Bluetooth modem, and enable the use of Bluetooth GPS. Only the first two on that list are required... The Bluetooth Bounty will expire on September 6, 2004. Any possible driver must be completed before that date to win the bounty.


Bluetooth for those who are unaware, is a technology that allows for devices to communicate with each other over short distances. Bluetooth technology has standards, or profiles for everything from wireless headsets to wireless data transfer. Most high-tech cellphones, and almost all high end PDAs have Bluetooth built into their device so it was surprising and disappointing that the Treo 600 did not have internal Bluetooth. For many, Bluetooth is incredibly useful. For example, I am currently in a coffee shop writing this article on my PowerBook. I will post it to TreoCentral using a bluetooth connection from my Powerbook to a Sprint Sony Ericsson T608. I can do this by pressing one button on my powerbook to connect to the phone, and the phone can stay in my laptop bag without me ever having touched it.

For those devices that did not have built in Bluetooth, there are many expansion cards on the market, in CF and SD form, to add the feature to devices. Sadly, the drivers for these cards were only available for Pocket PC and Palm OS 4.0 handhelds. A Treo 90, Handspring's last PDA product, for example, could use Bluetooth.


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