What Exactly is Bluetooth Technology?

In most cases, when discussions of home wireless applications take place, the topic is focused entirely on Wi-Fi technology.

It is easy to forget that there’s another player in the home wireless arena: Bluetooth. We’ve all used it, but many of us probably don’t understand the technology very much.

The Story of Bluetooth

The unique Bluetooth wireless technology was named after the famous tenth-century Danish King named Harald Blatand “Bluetooth.” It was created by the Swedish company L. M. Ericsson in 1994.

Whereas King Harald sought to unite his region of the world around 960 AD, Ericsson hoped that it could do the same with its Bluetooth technology – except that they were trying to unite the entire mobile world. This occurred in 1998 when Ericsson, Intel, Nokia, IBM, and Toshiba founded the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) and created a short-range wireless application based on Ericsson’s Bluetooth technology.

The specifications for this were released publicly in July 1999. This Bluetooth SIG has added other notable members like Motorola, 3Com, and Microsoft and is now comprised of almost 2,000 companies.

Today, thousands of Bluetooth-enabled products and services are available in the market, and many more are forthcoming. There are an estimated 800 million Bluetooth devices in the world today.


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The Distinction of Bluetooth

The terminology that has long been associated with a computer network is often referred to as a local area network, or LAN for short. Usually, a device network connected via Bluetooth is called a personal area network, or PAN for short.

Mobile phone headsets are easily the most common use for Bluetooth technology. It has become common in our society to see people speaking with these devices attached to their ears. But there are many more uses for them.

Here are a few examples of non-phone Bluetooth products:

  • HP Deskjet 460 printer
  • Belkin Bluetooth Universal Serial Bus (USB) adapter
  • Microsoft Wireless IntelliMouse Explorer for Bluetooth (a wireless mouse)
  • Apple wireless keyboard and mouse
  • IOGEAR Bluetooth wireless stereo headphone kit

While Bluetooth technology was meant to replace cables, Bluetooth has since been applied to many devices as a wireless function to support minimal user intervention. The technology has been quite remarkable and has appealed to a vast audience.

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Bluetooth technology?

Let’s look at the advantages of Bluetooth:

  • It doesn’t interfere with other wireless devices.
  • It requires very little energy to operate.
  • It can be upgraded easily and quickly.
  • Its range is better than Infrared communication.
  • It can be used for both voice and data transfers.
  • The devices are very inexpensive to purchase.
  • It doesn’t require a line of sight to connect.
  • It is free to use after a device has been installed.

Now let’s look at the few disadvantages of using Bluetooth:

  • It will lose connection under specific conditions.
  • It has a lower bandwidth than Wi-Fi.
  • Its range is relatively short between devices.
  • It is vulnerable to hackers.