Bluetooth under threat from new wireless tech

KDDI infrared
The new technology promises to be a serious contender

It's only six months since we first clapped eyes on it in the research labs, but KDDI's new super-fast version of the wireless infrared link appears ready for the prime time.

The Japanese telco's Giga-IR technology has been demonstrated at a trade show this week near Tokyo, where gadget makers were able to get a hands-on with the 1Gbit/s alternative to Bluetooth.

Super-fast data

Unlike standard infrared, which has an upper limit of 4Mbit/s, Giga-IR can be used to share large amounts of data between devices.

KDDI says it has deliberately targeted a higher class of wireless link to distinguish Giga-IR from Bluetooth and other cable-free rivals.

A spokesperson said, "We aimed at a sharp increase in data rates, considering rates of around 100Mbit/s are not fast enough to differentiate our technology from existing wireless technologies."

Blink of an eye

At 1Gbit/s, the new technique could be used to send an entire album from a PC to a mobile device in just half a second. Other uses include connecting printers, video recorders and TVs.

As for the more prosaic effects that hardware builders are likely to be interested in, the laser-based Giga-IR is likely to cost about the same as an IR module and to take up no more space inside a gadget.

J Mark Lytle was an International Editor for TechRadar, based out of Tokyo, who now works as a Script Editor, Consultant at NHK, the Japan Broadcasting Corporation. Writer, multi-platform journalist, all-round editorial and PR consultant with many years' experience as a professional writer, their bylines include CNN, Snap Media and IDG.