Before getting into the technology, the word Bluetooth is intriguing all on
its own, and deserves a look. The term is far less high tech than you might
imagine, and finds its roots in European history. The King of Denmark from 940
to 981 was renowned for his ability to help people communicate, his name (in
English)... Harald Bluetooth. Perhaps a bit obscure, but the reference is
appropriate for a wireless communications standard.
Another item worth investigating is the Bluetooth logo. Based on characters
from the runic alphabet (used in ancient Denmark), it was chosen as it appears
to be the combination of the English letter B and an asterisk.
The FAQ on the Bluetooth.org (https://www.bluetooth.org/) website offers a
basic definition: "Bluetooth wireless technology is a worldwide specification
for a small-form factor, low-cost radio solution that provides links between
mobile computers, mobile phones, other portable handheld devices, and
connectivity to the Internet."
Just like 802.11 b/g wireless networking systems and many cordless
telephones, Bluetooth devices operate on 2.4 GHz radio signals. That band seems
to be getting a bit crowded, and interference between devices may be difficult
to avoid. Telephones are now being offered on the 5.8 GHz band to help remedy
this, and Bluetooth has taken its own steps to reduce interference and improve
transmission quality. Version 1.1 of the Bluetooth standard greatly reduces
interference issues, but requires completely different hardware from the
original 1.0C standard, thus eliminating any chance of backwards compatibility.
The typical specifications of Bluetooth indicate a maximum transfer rate of
723 kbps and a range of 20-100 meters (65 to 328 feet - depending on the class
of the device). This speed is a fraction of that offered by 802.11 b or g
wireless standards, so it is obvious that Bluetooth doesn't pose a threat to
replace your wireless network. Although it is very similar to 802.11 in many
ways, Bluetooth was never intended to be a networking standard, but does have
many practical applications.
There are a variety of products that take advantage of Bluetooth's
capabilities, from laptops and PDAs, to headphones and input devices, and even
wireless printer adapters.
Many Laptops include an onboard Bluetooth adaptor to allow the system to
connect to any Bluetooth device right out of the box. For laptop or desktop
systems that do not have an adaptor built in, there are many USB Bluetooth
Bluetooth enabled PDAs allow for convenient wireless synchronization and data
Headphones can take advantage of Bluetooth for two purposes"¦ audio playback
and mobile phone communications. Using something a mobile headset with a
Bluetooth enabled mobile phone allows anyone to go hands free, as well as wire
Logitech, and other manufacturers, also produce input devices that eliminate
wires thanks to Bluetooth. You can add a Bluetooth mouse to your system, or both
a mouse and keyboard. One advantage that Bluetooth wireless keyboard/mouse
combinations have over the standard RF wireless keyboard/mouse combinations is
range. Where most standard RF keyboard/mouse combinations have a range up to 6
feet; a Bluetooth keyboard/mouse combination will usually have a range of up to
Bluetooth printer adaptors make sharing a printer extremely convenient by
eliminating the need for any wires or special configurations on a typical
network. Printing to any compatible HP printer from a PC, PDA or mobile phone
can now be done easily from anywhere in the office.