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IBM's new tools blend Linux with Bluetooth

Big Blue releases new tools that merge two of the hottest technologies in an effort to spur wireless networking.

IBM today released new tools that combine Linux with Bluetooth wireless technology, merging two of the hottest technologies in an effort to spur wireless networking.

IBM released Linux-based applications technology based on the Bluetooth specification. Bluetooth essentially allows portable devices, computers, and appliances to communicate and swap data via radio waves, doing away with wires and cables.

Although much delayed, the eventual arrival of Bluetooth products is expected to simplify home networking, which still usually requires some type of rewiring or complicated connection scheme. A number of companies, such as Sun Microsystems and Microsoft, as well as the major networking, consumer electronics and PC businesses, are vying for a piece of this market, which is expected to be huge.

IBM's Linux technology, dubbed the BlueDrekar middleware, was developed by its in-house research group and is available for free trial download on IBM's developer site.

"The BlueDrekar middleware provides the driver that is designed to be compliant with Bluetooth wireless technology," said Daniel Jue, manager of IBM's AlphaWorks division, which works to provide early versions of IBM technology to developers. "As a result, developers can concentrate on creating exciting new interactive applications for the wireless home or office."

Big Blue said it eventually will seek certification for its Linux tools from the Bluetooth standards body.