Ericsson sees its new "blips" everywhere

L.M. Ericsson Telephone Co. wants to introduce a new verb. In a few years time everybody will be "blipping," the Swedish company said Thursday.

BLIP (Bluetooth Local Infotainment Point) is Ericsson's new concept for disseminating information wirelessly. Ericsson predicts BLIPs will spread quickly as more people get Bluetooth-enabled devices, such as cellular telephones and personal digital assistants (PDAs).

A BLIP will function as a hub for devices in the area to connect to. An advertiser could turn an advertising panel into a BLIP, Ericsson said in a news release. Passers could "blip" into local pages, download discount coupons, and even watch video presentations. Public transportation is another area Ericsson foresees will be "blipped."

The developers' kit for the BLIP platform will be offered free of charge, a move Ericsson hopes will result in developers jumping aboard and creating applications. BLIP is based on the Linux operating system and is equipped with a WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) stack and Ericsson's Bluetooth host, which allows transfers up to the maximum speed supported by the Bluetooth wireless system, 720K bps (bits per second). Devices will be able to connect to the service using a WAP or Web interface.

Ericsson said it would launch BLIP globally this year, with the help of unspecified partners. The company will sell hardware and develop services for the system. BLIP will be free to the end user.

Ericsson, in Stockholm, can be reached at +46-8-719-0000, or http://www.ericsson.com/.

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