i-comm 2003: Socket, Isochron show Bluetooth wireless solutions

Miami, FL—Socket Communications Inc. (Newark, CA) and Isochron Data Corp. (Austin, TX) announced May 5 that they're jointly developing and deploying Bluetooth solutions that allow wireless communications between pocket PCs and industrial equipment.

By Control Engineering Staff May 6, 2003

Miami, FL— Socket Communications Inc. (Newark, CA) and Isochron Data Corp. (Austin, TX) announced May 5 that they’re jointly developing and deploying Bluetooth solutions that allow wireless communications between pocket PCs and industrial equipment. The partners report their new products enable reliable, secure and accurate data collection, control and management of industrial devices. They’re demonstrating these solutions at i-comm 2003 , which is Intermec Technologies ‘ customer conference, May 4-7, at Miami’s Doral Golf and Country Club.

The two companies’ products combine enterprise software, mobile computing applications, and embedded systems from Isochron with Socket’s software and hardware for adding Bluetooth wireless technology to pocket PCs. By enabling users to wirelessly monitor and control equipment from a mobile computer, they say these products add a new level of integrity and accuracy in data collection, system security, and accountability.

For example, the first of these solutions deployed with customers, VendCast Mobile, enables vending machine management by collecting product sales and equipment status data. VendCast Mobile also enables keyless unlocking of vending machines via Bluetooth, using its built-in secure access control features. The technology behind VendCast Mobile is being demonstrated this week at i-comm 2003.

‘VendCast Mobile represents one of the first major deployments of Bluetooth wireless technology in a commercial or industrial setting,’ says Erin Defosse, Isochron’s chief technology officer. “It demonstrates how Isochron’s and Socket’s commercial and industrial customers can benefit from the low cost and growing ubiquity of Bluetooth wireless technology in real-world applications. Isochron and Socket are working together to further develop these new opportunities.’

Mike Gifford, Socket’s executive VP and embedded systems GM, adds that, ‘Using Bluetooth wireless technology to enable short-range wireless communications between pocket PCs and embedded controllers in commercial and industrial equipment makes a lot of sense. Initial field testing is going well, and we’re pleased to be working with Isochron to bring innovative solutions to this market.’

In addition, Socket recently launched its KwikBlue modules with Bluetooth for integration into PDAs, peripherals, industrial automation equipment and other products. Design wins already field-tested or going into production include PDAs, mobile printers, serial dongles, industrial automation equipment, bar code scanning, and conference room whiteboard connectivity.

Intermec adds that it was the first industrial-grade PDA supplier to provide a complete Bluetooth wireless technology solution with its 720 Pocket PC handheld computers and 781 portable printers. These products use Socket’s KwikBlue modules to enable applications, and Bluetooth wireless technology is now a standard for Intermec’s handheld and portable computers, mobile and portable printers, and wireless scanners. Isochron has deployed handheld terminals in field trails using Intermec’s devices integrated with Socket’s KwikBlue modules and CF cards.

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jim Montague, news editor
jmontague@reedbusiness.com