At the Bluetooth low energy preview day in Tokyo, a spokesman for Nokia reported an interesting statistic. Every year, 300,000 laptops are lost or left behind by passengers at U.S. airports. Apparently that’s greater than the number of mobile phones left at airports, suggesting that most travellers consider their phone to be more important than their laptop, but that’s another story. At first sight the figure seems staggering, but it’s only around one laptop per airport per day. What is staggering is the resulting cost of replacement, which equates to a third of a billion dollars every year.
The reason for raising this statistic is to point out one of the new applications which will be made possible by Bluetooth low energy. Bluetooth low energy (previously known as Wibree) is the new Bluetooth standard that is coming out this year and which enables devices to be produced which include a wireless link to transmit small amounts of data, and support a battery life that can extend into years. One of the first applications that will ship is access control or proximity detection. Which is why it can save the US economy $300,000,000 every year.