By PETER SVENSSON AP Technology Writer
NEW YORK (AP) -- The Bluetooth wireless standard used in cell phones and other small devices will take a leap in transmission speed, broadening its scope to enable high-definition video and files for digital music players like the iPod.
The industry group behind Bluetooth said Tuesday that it would boost transfer speeds in the next few years by incorporating a new radio technology, known as ultra-wideband, or UWB.
Currently, Bluetooth works only for low-speed uses like headsets and wireless keyboards. UWB, which has yet to appear in consumer devices, enables wireless transmissions at speeds equivalent to USB or FireWire cables at distances up to 10 feet.
The first products with high-speed Bluetooth may show up late next year, with wider availability in 2008, said Michael Foley, executive director of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group.
UWB is developed by another industry group, the WiMedia Alliance, which includes Intel Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co. and Microsoft Corp.
Its linkup with Bluetooth will provide a way for devices with UWB hardware to identify each other and communicate. For instance, a phone with Bluetooth can recognize a headset and know that it receives and sends audio data.