We learned a couple of months ago that Bluetooth had been unlocked for Nook Color on a developmental level, but not until today has it been available for users. For those of you out there that own the NOOKcolor or are looking for yet another reason to own the NOOKcolor, a significant step forward has been taken in the development of stable Android ROMs for the device. In a new SD bootable build of CM7 for the e-reader turned tablet Android developer verygreen of XDA has enabled Bluetooth support.
An in addition to having Bluetooth capability, Kmoobs says that he can make phone calls, presumably through something like the Android Skype App and a bluetooth headset. A very cool feature which opens tremendous possibilities for those on a budget who want an Android Tablet that they can play around with. This comes on top of users overclocking their NOOKcolor and getting up to nearly 1Ghz in processing speed and allowing it to become a fully functional Android Tablet. Too bad it doesn’t have a camera in it!
The reason something as seemingly outrageous as Bluetooth on an e-reader is even possible is that manufacturers generally get better deals on Wi-Fi chips that also have Bluetooth capabilities. If they have to pay more to get a Wi-Fi-only chip, it’s more economically sound to go with the Wi-Fi + Bluetooth chip, and simply deactivate the Bluetooth functions on a software level. This leaves room for the development community (in this case, fattire and verygreen) to re-activate it.
There are still some kinks to be worked out. Currently, Bluetooth only has a functional range of about 13 inches. For now that means most will find use pairing their NOOK to a keyboard or headset in close proximity. With further development the range should hopefully be extended to at least a few feet.