Here's the project that I am starting. This is outside of my current skill set, so I can muddle along and try, or someone who is more skilled than I am may be able to casually knock it out in an afternoon...
The ESP8266 chip is an incredible new development. It has been listed and used as a serial to WiFi device for Arduino, but in reality it is a full SoC that can be programmed using the Arduino IDE. There are many different form factors, all fairly small, with a number of available GPIO options. The most common is the ESP8266-01, which sells for about $5.
One of the things these little microcontrollers can do is take a serial data stream and send it out over TCP using WiFi. It uses more power than a Bluetooth adapter, but the range is far greater. You also have a choice of connectors, with some ESP8266 devices using etched-in or ceramic antennas, and some including a U.FL connector for an external antenna and greater range.
But beyond being a simple serial to WiFi gateway, this SoC can have many more uses. Since it can be programmed using the Arduino IDE, and has a number of GPIO pins, one idea that I have is to use an ESP8266 to receive telemetry data from the flight controller over the serial connection, send that information out over WiFi, and also use a GPIO pin to drive a series of WS2812 multicolor LEDs, causing those LEDs to change colors or brightness depending on information gathered from the telemetry data.
For an initial resource, check out: http://www.esp8266.com/
A good article on the ESP8266 and Arduino IDE: http://makezine.com/2015/04/01/installing-building-arduino-sketch-5-microcontroller/
Universal I/O bridge firmware for ESP8266: https://github.com/eriksl/esp8266-universal-io-bridge
I believe that this has a lot of potential to replace Bluetooth as a short-range telemetry protocol, and bring new features as well. I'm going to try to stumble around with this thing and figure it out myself, but I'm sure that there are people who are far better qualified than myself to point this project in the right direction. Any takers?