Bluetooth technology - History, Versions - Explained.

Bluetooth technology
We are using Bluetooth technology for many years. Most of us use inbuilt Bluetooth products in our daily life. Like smartphones, smartwatches, smart TVs, laptops, computers, headsets, medical equipment, health equipment etc. But, how many of us know about Bluetooth technology? History of Bluetooth? Versions of Bluetooth? Why was this technology named Bluetooth? While this word does not sound techie and most important is what is Bluetooth technology?

So, there are a lot of questions regarding Bluetooth technology in our minds. Lets today try to find answers to these questions. This blog will try to answer all these questions and let readers know more about Bluetooth technology.


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What is Bluetooth?

Bluetooth is a name of the technology that is used for data transfer between Bluetooth enabled devices within the short range of distance wirelessly, which is a maximum of up to 10 meters (30 feet). It can be a bit more or less subject to the availability of obstacles like walls etc.

Bluetooth technology uses radio waves to transfer data between Bluetooth enabled devices. It uses Radio frequency between 2.402 - 2.480 GHz ISM (Industrial, Scientific, Medical)

ISM Radio Bands: ISM radio bands are specific radio bands at power level up to 1 watt available for unlicensed Industrial, Scientific, Medical that is kept aside in 1985 by FCC (Federal Communications Commission. {alertInfo}

Bluetooth wireless technology offers two Radio options to the developers, Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) and Bluetooth classic radios.

Bluetooth Classic Radio.

Bluetooth classic radio is also known as Bluetooth Basic Rate/Enhanced Data Rate (BR/EDR). This radio is used mainly for wireless audio streaming between Bluetooth speakers, Car music systems, Bluetooth headphones etc. It is also used for data transfer applications and mobile printing. It is a low power radio with an unlicensed ISM frequency band 2.4GHz that streams data over 79 channels. This radio only supports point to point device communication.

Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) Radio.

This radio is also a very low power radio with an unlicensed ISM frequency band 2.4GHz that transmits data over 40 channels. This radio supports multiple communication systems, including point to point, broadcast and networking. Can connect with multiple devices simultaneously. It is used mostly for positioning services, direction finding, proximity capabilities and soon it will be used for high accuracy distance measurement. 

Why is this wireless technology named 'Bluetooth'?

Bluetooth is not a technical name even then this technology named 'Bluetooth'. We all know Bluetooth as a brand name but it doesn't mean anything. The story behind this is "Thousands of years ago there was a King named Harald 'Bluetooth' Gormsson who was well known for uniting Denmark and Norway in the year 958 and he had a dead tooth which was dark blue/grey colour, that's why his nickname was Bluetooth, means the man with blue tooth." The story seems weird but it's true. Now another question here is why this technology is named 'Bluetooth'? what is the connection of that King with this technology?

The reason given for that is, The King was known for uniting Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden, Denmark) just as this technology was used for uniting PC and other cellular industries with a short-range wireless link.

But Bluetooth was only code name and temporary which was to be replaced with RadioWire or PAN (Personal Area Network) at the time of final launch. PAN was the first priority but it was already searched over the internet with thousands of hits. RadioWire was on the second priority but the leaders couldn't complete the full trademark at the time of launch. Now the Bluetooth was the only choice that remained and got popular very fast before it could be changed. It was spread all over as synonymous with short-range wireless technology.

It was all happened in 1996 when the industry leaders Intel, Ericson and Nokia met to standardize this wireless technology.


History of Bluetooth Technology.

As mentioned above the standardization of this technology was done in 1996 by three industry leaders Intel, Ericsson and Nokia. Later in 1998, the Bluetooth SIG (Special Interest Group) was formed which is a non-profit and non-stock corporation headquartered in Washington. The Bluetooth SIG publishes and promotes the standards and revisions. In the starting, only Nokia, Intel, Ericsson, IBM and Toshiba were part of it but later in that year, total members were reached 4000 plus. The group currently contains during this year (2021) 36000 plus members and still increasing.

The first consumer product launched in 1999, that was a hands-free mobile headset. While the first mobile phone was launched with Bluetooth in the year 2000. The phone was Sony Ericsson T36 but later it was revised to T39. The phone was first available to the stores in 2001.

Versions of Bluetooth.

  1. Bluetooth 1.0 and 1.0B (1999)
  2. Bluetooth 1.1 (2001)
  3. Bluetooth 1.2 (2003)
  4. Bluetooth 2.0 (2004)
  5. Bluetooth 2.1 (2007)
  6. Bluetooth 3.0 + HS (2009)
  7. Bluetooth 4.0 (2010)
  8. Bluetooth 4.1 (2013)
  9. Bluetooth 4.2 (2014)
  10. Bluetooth 5.0 (2016)
  11. Bluetooth 5.1 (2019)
  12. Bluetooth 5.2 (2020)
  13. Bluetooth 5.3 (2021)
Bluetooth technology is improved over the time, Every newer version has new improvements. With Bluetooth 4.0 in 2010 (LE) Low Energy Bluetooth was introduced. The latest Bluetooth version is 5.3 which is introduced in July 2021.

That's it in this blog, I hope you like the blog, please share with your friends, and do comments below in the comment section.

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Mukesh Shekhawat

Mukesh Shekhawat is a tech enthusiast, interested to read about the latest technology and sharing knowledge by writing a blog and by creating YouTube videos. facebook instagram twitter youtube

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