Bluetooth® has proven to be the dominant wireless technology in the office and on the go for connecting accessories and peripherals to our computers and mobile devices. The one domain into which Bluetooth has only lightly treaded until now, though, is the living room. That is quickly changing, however, as companies like LG Electronics have started adopting Bluetooth into their new televisions.
So what can Bluetooth do for your TV?
To view 3D images on a TV, a slightly different image needs to be transmitted to each eye. One way to achieve this is with active-shutter technology. Active-shutter glasses have LCD lenses that are capable of electronically darkening each lens. Infrared signals emitted from the TV will synchronize the shuttering of the lenses with alternating images on the TV.
There are many downsides to using infrared (IR) for communication, however. IR requires a line-of-sight between the transmitter and receiver, which will limit both the versatility and the viewing angle of the glasses. It is also prone to interference from other light sources in the room, since they all radiate IR light as well. Worst yet, up until a few months ago, there was no standard IR communication protocol amongst manufacturers, so any given pair of glasses worked on only one brand of TV.
The Full HD 3D™ Glasses Initiative wants to standardize active-shutter 3D technology, and Broadcom® -enabled Bluetooth chips are helping to make that happen. Bluetooth is a more power efficient alternative that doesn’t require line-of-sight and isn’t prone to interference from lights in the room.
The Nintendo® Wii™ has shown the world that gesture-based remotes can indeed be fun and enjoyable. It’s no wonder that other companies have followed suit. The Bluetooth-enabled Roku® 2 XS remote brings a new level of interactivity with your television by adding gestured-based gaming controls.
Use NFC to pair up a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse and you’ll be browsing the web on your TV in no time. If a keyboard seems too old-fashioned for you, there is also voice-controlled input. Check out this video to see demos of these Bluetooth applications.
Prashant Mantha, Broadcom Blog Squad member, interviewed Steve McIntyre, Broadcom’s senior product line manager for the Mobile & Wireless Group, about how Broadcom chips enable a variety of Bluetooth-based remote devices and others, including gestures and voice-activated search, that don’t require a remote at all.
Eric has a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from University of California, Irvine, and currently works as an RFDVT engineer in his internship with the Broadcom Bluetooth Group in Irvine. He’s a skilled photographer and shows off his work on his blog.