Bluetooth is sort of like France. Winning a war is just not it's thing.
The wireless networking standard was touted years ago as a way to connect laptops (via a cell phone bridge) wirelessly to the Internet. It got creamed by WiFi.
Subsequently, Bluetooth backers primarily envisioned it as a way to connect phones to wireless headsets or PCs. Although not everyone that has a Bluetooth phone takes advantage of the capability, adoption has been picking up.
Unfortunately, Wireless USB is getting set to knock Bluetooth out in that role, according to Dino Vendetti, who just joined VC firm Formative Ventures. Cellular makers are already looking at adding wireless USB to phones.
"Bluetooth has essentially run up against its limits in bandwidth," he said. "There is a desire to add personal networking to the handset."
At Bay Partners, Vendetti invested in Staccato, a leading wireless USB chip designer.
At Formative, Vendetti will continue to look at communications and wireless technologies. Formative is a relatively small firm, but its limited partners include the investment arms of Harvard and the University of Virginia.
So far, the firm has made four investments, including one into Silicon Clocks, which designs timing devices for electronic systems. Traditional quartz clocks are a fifty year old technology, says Clint Chao, another partner at Formative.