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
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
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