I know you know what a LAN (Local Area network) is and a WLAN (Wireless Local Area network) but do you know what a WPAN is …..?
A WPAN is a personal area network which uses Bluetooth technology to connect everything from cell phones and ear pieces to key boards and desktops.
When most people think of wireless they will think about Wifi hot spots or wireless routers. Bluetooth acts like wireless wire connecting components over ashort distant.
One of the biggest booms of Bluetooth technology is Bluetooth enabled phones that give you the ability to connect to your computer wirelessly or to your Bluetooth ear piece in you car.
Other quick examples of Bluetooth networking is wireless keyboards and mice.
Bluetooth travels at 1mbps and has a max distance of about 5-10 meters. 1mbps does not seem very fast but it is three times faster that a serial port.
WPAN’s (Wireless Personal area networks) are all around you and they will become more and more common. Desktop computers with Bluetooth enabled keyboards and mice combined with a cell phone that syncs your data.
A new use of PAN’s is in the hospital industry where Bluetooth technology is helping doctors monitor patients. Bluetooth gives the hospital staff more freedom to treat a patient when not having to trip on or untangle wires.
Because blue tooth enabled devices can communicate with each other life saving equipment will be able to more effectively monitor changes in a patients condition.
The military is also experimenting with Bluetooth devices and PAN networking in creating smart suits for the battle field. A soldier armed with a blue tooth enabled SAT Phone, Bluetooth head set and Bluetooth laptop, can communicate with anyone in the world. The most important thing is that the soldier won’t have a million wires to connect and get in his way during battle.
As Bluetooth technology gains popularity the issue of security will have to be addressed. Virus writers have already made cell phone proof of concept viruses and have actually infected a few phones.
Bluetooth does have many built in features which help protect a user from being hacked. First is distance, unlike WI-FI Bluetooth travel only at most 10 meters. Next, Bluetooth uses frequency hopping and 128 encryption can be enabled. Other features of Bluetooth are built in PIN numbers to verify who they are communicating with and block other devices from connecting.
More and more devices will become Bluetooth enabled such and your car radios and home appliances. Bluetooth enabled cars and appliances will be able to connect to your home network or cell phone and notify you when they need repairs or to give you status updates.