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What is Bluetooth?



Bluetooth is a microwave communication technology invented by Ericsson in 1994.  It is intended to replace the short cables that are used to connect various electronic gadgets to each other. Examples would be connecting your cell phone to a hands free earpiece, a handheld PC to a printer and so on.

Bluetooth operates on the same frequency as some WiFi routers, in the no license required 2.4 GHz to 2.4835 GHz range, but on a much, much lower power level. Bluetooth’s maximum range is about 15 feet whereas WiFi’s maximum range is about 300 feet. Bluetooth’s data transfer rate is about 0.2 to 2.0 MB/s. 

Bluetooth is popular with manufactures because it is possible to place an entire Bluetooth transceiver on a single chip. End users like the product as its compatibility greatly eases the process of interconnecting various electronic devices.

This compatibility is possible because the Bluetooth protocol is managed by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG).    SIG specifies how electronics devices will communicate, advertise their services and exchange information with each other.  Almost 12,000 companies are members of SIG and therefore agree to follow the SIG Bluetooth protocols.

A benefit of using a Bluetooth earpiece with your cell phone is that the Bluetooth earpiece will typically use 1-3% the microwave energy of a cell phone.  This greatly reduces your head’s exposure to microwave energy from your cell phone.  Studies have shown conflicting results as to whether cell phone radiation is harmful.

The name Bluetooth is a reference to Harold Bluetooth King of Denmark and Norway (c.935). He unified warring tribes in the region and he liked blueberries so much that his teeth where blue, hence he acquired the nickname, Bluetooth.  Today, the Bluetooth protocol unifies electronic devices. The Bluetooth logo was made by superimposing the two runes that represent his initials, H and B. 

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