johnsu01 (johnsu01) wrote,
johnsu01
johnsu01

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IOGEAR Bluetooth shenanigans

So this troublesome shopping experience is still bothering me. Though I finally did get the items I expected to get, it turns out that they don't work the way I expected them to work.

Because — if you can believe this — I was expecting something labeled as Bluetooth to work with, you know, other Bluetooth devices.

Turns out that the IOGEAR Bluetooth audio transmitter only works with IOGEAR Bluetooth headphones. I don't understand how they can call it Bluetooth. There is a process that your product has to go through in order to be able to use that trademark. After an annoying call to IOGEAR that confirmed that the transmitter required their headphones, I sent a letter to the Bluetooth SIG, which runs the qualification process.

I was under the impression that to have the Bluetooth name and symbol, a device had to have a certain level of interoperability with other Bluetooth devices.

IOGEAR is selling an A2DP audio transmitter (GBMA201) that only works with their own headphones. I have confirmed this by speaking to their technical support, and also by trying to discover the transmitter with easily a half-dozen different bluetooth devices (cell phone, laptop, different brand of bluetooth headphones, etc.). The transmitter is not discoverable, so there is no way to pair any other bluetooth device with it.

Is this a violation of the rules regarding Bluetooth branding? Thanks for your time.

Today I received their reply, which concluded with:

The Bluetooth Qualification program verifies that the product is qualified against the Bluetooth Specification. It does not test each product against other products. Ideally, if a product is qualified against the Specification, it should work with other products.

Manufacturers should not make their product only work with only their products. As such, I have turned this issue over to our Bluetooth Qualification Administrator. He can further investigate this issue with IOGEAR.

So, maybe things are looking up.

Tags: bluetooth, iogear
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