Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

bluetoothlogo.jpgI just got my DSC-FX77, the new Sony camera that does bluetooth. I was bracing myself for wirless iLife... then. Suckage. The FX77 uses Bluetooth BIP (Basic Imaging Profile) to talk to the computer. Mac OS X has bluetooth, but of course... it doesn't know what the hell BIP is. A close examination of the Sony web page says it doesn't work with the Mac. I just saw the bluetooth logo on my Mac and on the Sony web page and didn't read the fineprint. Stupid stupid stupid...

So, does anyone know if Apple is thinking of implementing BIP or if there is some software that will let my USELESS Mac bluetooth talk to my useless-to-me new camera?


joi, apple keeps adding support for more bluetooth profiles with every release. hell they even added support for the microsoft bluetooth mouse and keyboard in 10.2.5. if BIP is a standard profile, i bet they'll add support for it. in the mean looks like you're still using a cable. granted i think i'm jealous anyway. any links to your new camera or will you post a picture of it for us?

Well, I'll be holding my breath waiting for a new release from Apple.

Here is a picture of it.

It's actually not that exciting other than the bluetooth...

Here's a review of it

Doesn't your mobile phone support Bluetooth as well? If it doesn't you need a new phone. This seems like a great opportunity for some high-quality moblogging to me.



I have to admit that I still dont really get Bluetooth. I realize its for getting rid of cables, but its often implemented in ways which really emphasize its slowness (i.e. moving 4MP files, not to mention MPEG video.)

And it's exactly, why standards and interoperability is so important.

Does anyone have that Sony Bluetooth cell phone from au that was on the market until about 6 months ago? I was thinking of buying it, and the next thing I know it wasn't available any more. I wonder if it could iSync with the Mac? Since it was an otherwise bland phone with the old fashioned non-folding design, I don't expect it to reappear. newer phones from Sony have no Bluetooth, replacing it with useless features like cameras and illuminated, changable body panels.

What are these Bluetooth profiles about?

Aren't pictures just files?

BIP stands for Basic Imaging Profile. There's already "basic" image metadata in JPEGs, so what's the need for BIP?

There's a utility in the osX utility folder for exchanging files with Bluetooth devices. Why exchanging pictures has to be more complexe than that?

2 threads about this:

Looks like BIP only works with SONY devices at the moment.

Do they expect people will throw away their Powerbook G4 for a VAIO ?! ;-P

What are Bluetooth profiles ?

Bluetooth Additional Profiles - Overview

" The Profiles describe how the technology is used  (i.e how different parts of the specification can be used to fulfil a desired function for a Bluetooth device). A profile can be described as a vertical slice through the protocol stack. It defines options in each protocol that are mandatory for the profile. It also defines parameter ranges for each protocol. The profile concept is used to decrease the risk of interoperability problems between different manufacturers' products. These profiles do not (normally) define any additions to the Bluetooth specification, which is why new profiles can be added where desired. The underlying Bluetooth technology is the same, only the specific way that it is used is defined and clarified. "

What is BIP?

"This profile is designed to optimise transfer of image information or control. It involves using an Imaging Initiator, such as a handheld. PC , etc. to select an image feature on a Imaging Responder, such as a digital camera etc. One scenario covered is using a PC, (as the Imaging Initiator), selecting and  downloading content on a digital camera, (the Imaging Responder)."

WOAH, is Bluetooth so complex that we have to "optimise transfer of image information" ??
Is pushing files from a Bluetooth device so complex?

If anyone can help with explanations.

Yes, BT suffers from USB disease -- a kitchen-sink top-down specification where all that was really needed was bottom-up evolution on TCP/IP.

I have recently been looking into turning my photo diary into a moblog using a FX77, and a Sony Ericsson T610 phone, which offers a built in image editor.

Has anyone had any further experience linking BT enabled cameras to phones? I wonder if the T610 supports BIT...

I just discovered that I can send images from my FX77 to my Sony Ericsson T610, and then from the T610 to my iBook. Only trouble is that images seem to get automagically reduced in resolution (to 640 x 480) on the trip from the FX77 to the T610. Makes me think this might be a "smart" feature of the BIP (ie resolution negotiation / on-the-fly resizing) -- neat idea, but not really handy for me.

Just to add my two pence... came across the same woes that started this thread. Got the cybershot, hoping it would connect to at least ONE of my bluetooth devices (got an Ipaq 1940 and a 12inch Powerbook). Alas, no joy. Would have been nice - the 16mb card that the cybershot ships with is pretty meagre, and I'd just bought a 256mb sd card for my ipaq...

Thing that narks me is that the manual is less than clear. It shows how to connect to a Vaio, and even to send images to another camera (surely not a killer function for most casual point and clickers?)

Bluetooth is being marketed to the end-user as all pervasive wireless connectivity between devices - this is the first time I realised that bluetooth can come in different flavours...


bluetooth is a layered communication protocol. IT's like infared, it encompases a whole lot of protocols and services that it is capable. Bluetooth itsself the wireless transport. If you look on your phone, you might see a list of services. My t610 works with BIP, and also file transfer. File transfer is one of the most basic bluetooth protocols. I have used it many a time with my powerbook and my phone, if your camera doesn't support the most basic bluetooth protocol, this it's just plain stupid.

Solidarity here with those poor suckers who trust major manufucturers to implement a technology as it is promoted. I also bought a Sony bluetooth camera expecting it to work with my bluetooth Powerbook. Is an understanding of communication protocols now a pre-requisite for getting purchase decisions such as these right?

I'm interested in buying the DSX-FX77 Bluetooth to work with my iMac. Apple has released a new bluetooth update (Vers.1.5). Does it work now with this camera. Anybody made a positive experience?

Well, I own a Sony Vaio so I've been able to use BIP to transfer pictures. However, since the laptop has a memory stick reader it is fairly useless. I've just purchased a Logitech Bluetooth keyboard and mouse and I'm sorry to discover that it doesn't support BIP. My Nokia 6600 can print using BIP but it can't receive pics. Hoping for more software to be released as BIP is incorporated in more and more devices.

I just bought the DSC-FX77 with the Bluetooth BIP hoping I could connect to my Nokia 6600 and transfer some high resolutions images. But of course, even though both have Bluetooth the Nokia does not support BIP. And if I read above that the T610 does support it but lowers the resolution that it not what I want. I will get a HP Ipaq 5550 soon also with bluetooth, lets see if it works there ... I have my doubts. Why does Sony make it so difficult?

Has anybody found out if it is possible to enable a Non BIP Bluetooth device (like the Ipaq) by adding a "BIP" driver?

OK, now I feel better that I'm not the only sucker. I bought the DSC-FX77 to connect to my Dell laptop. No luck. I too would like to know if there is a way to install a BIP driver.

no way for the dsc fx77 + Mac osX 10.3.3 + bluetooth 1.5
any other info? we're a real band of sucker ^_^

Hi sucker brothers,
I chose the FX77 because my laptop has no built in card reader... and I also didn't read the fineprint concerning that BIP-prtocol.
But I have found a company that offers a bluetooth-software (IVT BlueSoleil) which also supports the BIP-protocol ( unfortunately it seems to be only for MS Windows. With that software I can at least send pictures from the FX77 to my laptop and also use it as a remote camera. When I send pictures from the camera the max resolution for the images is 1280 x 960. When I make a still image in remote camera-mode via BlueSoleil, the FX77 suddenly sends the images also with 4 megapixels (but of course long transfer time.. aprox. more than 30 sec.).
IMHO the bluetooth function is a nice little gadget for technical enthusiasts but not useful for image transfer. OK, perhaps to send one or two pics if you can't use a memory stick or USB - but as we see, currently most BT devices in cell phones or PDAs don't support the BIP-protocol.

Now I bought myself a sony msca-us7 mouse with ms-reader and have no probs anymore ;-)

Hi from Japan. Thank goodness that I came across this page about Bluetooth compatibility with the SONY (SUCKING) camera and my brand spanking new Powerbook. I almost bought the camera a few minutes ago online, but just thought I would do one more web search. Thank the mac gods for letting me see this page first! AJ in Japan

Anyone found any software to get the HP5550 to allow the BIP protocol?
I'm also very annoyed that my new camera will not work with my Pocket PC.
Joe Bloggs out there thinks Bluetooth is Bluetooth - and even I an experienced computer user did not realise how many different Bluetooth protocols are out there.
I think there will be many more very disappointed newbies and amateur users out there who will be in the same predicament.