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Bluetooth Makes The Wires Disappear

While relatively new to the ears of common consumers, Bluetooth technology has been around for several years and number of products that support this application grows year after year. Various technology-oriented companies advertise Bluetooth-enabled PDAs, laptops and mobile phones.

Bluetooth is a not-so-new technology that utilizes short-range radio connections, designed to take the place of cables that connect mobile or fixed electronic gadgets. Its main capabilities are low complexity, robustness, low power and low cost. Made to operate in noisy frequency places, the Bluetooth radio utilizes a fast acknowledgement and frequency hopping application to make a seamless connection.

Bluetooth radio modules move across at 2.4GHz, an unlicensed GSM band. The use of this frequency enables the technology avoid interference from other frequencies and signals. Bluetooth radio hops at a faster pace compared to other systems operating in the similar frequency level, as it uses shorter packets.

History of Bluetooth

The word Bluetooth can be traced to European history. The King of Denmark from 949 to 981 Harald Bluetooth was known for his unique ability to help people effectively communicate with each other. The reference to the king is appropriate for wireless communications technology. Characters on the Bluetooth logo come from the runic alphabet.

The basic definition based on BlueTooth.org indicates that it is a worldwide specification low-cost radio solution, small-form factor that enables direct communications between mobile phones, mobile computers, and other portable gadgets, and online connectivity.

Bluetooth gadgets operate on 2.4 GHz radio signals similar to many cordless telephones and 802.11 b/g wireless networking systems. However, Bluetooth has began to minimize interference and improve quality of transmission in response to almost excessive use of the frequency range in occupies. Interference problems have been greatly addressed in version 1.1 of the Bluetooth standard but these are not backward compatible to previous versions because of the considerable difference in hardware.

Bluetooth has a maximum transfer rate of 723 kbps and range of 20-100 meters or 65 to 125 feet. However, Bluetooth will unlikely become an alternative to wireless standards given its slower speed.

Bluetooth can be used in various applications ranging from PDAs, to laptops, to input devices, headphones and wireless printer adapters. Many laptops have a built in Bluetooth adapter that enables the gadget to seamlessly communicate with other Bluetooth-capable devices. USB Bluetooth adapters can be connected with many laptops and desktop system that do not have an onboard adapter.

Bluetooth also allows PDA s to easily sync wirelessly and transfer data. Bluetooth is also useful in headphones particularly fro mobile phone communications and audio playback. A Bluetooth-enabled mobile headset can be used in combination with a Bluetooth enabled mobile phone, allowing the user to go hands and wire free.

Gadget manufacturers such as Logitech have products that are wireless because of Bluetooth technology. A Bluetooth mouse can be used in computers or both a keyboard and mouse. A key advantage of using a Bluetooth-enabled mouse and keyboard is range, as some can be used for as long as 30 feet.

Bluetooth printer adaptors are convenient to use in a typical network due to the elimination of wires. Printing can be done from any location inside an office.

The main roadblock for Bluetooth to be widely accepted is cost to implement. Currently, Bluetooth has not grown in terms of use as what technology pundits have hoped for. However, Bluetooth does offer a practical solution to many gadgets that could not have wireless connectivity without the technology.

Khieng 'Ken' Chho is author and owner of Online Bluetooth Resources. For related articles and other resources, visit Ken's website: http://Bluetooth.1w3b.net


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