Vertical markets such as health care, government, services, transportation/communications/utilities, manufacturing and mining, and retail will offer a myriad of opportunities for the deployment of Bluetooth, according to In-Stat/MDR.
The high tech market research firm reports that these vertical markets will grow aggressively to over two million deployed Bluetooth nodes worldwide in 2007, and although there is activity in a great variety of applications and vertical markets, health care and manufacturing present the greatest opportunities in the near term.
According to Joyce Putscher, a research director with In-Stat/MDR, "Most applications being considered initially are cable replacement uses, such as accessing machine health, reconfiguring equipment, sensor data, patient information, patient monitoring,
security access, asset tracking and others." The opportunities for replacing cables/wired systems, whether wired or proprietary wireless systems, will be somewhat limited in the long run, but will be faster to realize in the short term. The opportunities for adding new capabilities via wireless will be slower, but present greater prospects in the long run.
In-Stat/MDR also found that:
- Bluetooth offers advantages in noisy and dusty environments because of its frequency hopping; therefore, Bluetooth is a good fit for the military, manufacturing and mining verticals.
- Bluetooth is ideal for short distance applications that lend themselves to low power, such as patient monitoring, strip chart recorders, upgrading instrumentation/equipment with serial adapters, machine health/status sensors and a variety of embedded applications yet to be explored.
- Interest is high in the US for Bluetooth deployment in medical equipment, as over 50 percent of this type of equipment is manufactured in the US. Europe has a high interest in medical equipment as well, especially Italy and Germany, in addition to PC terminal security and patient information.