The system that allows electronic devices to talk to each other over short distances without connecting cables is called Bluetooth. The system with the unusual name is barely a decade old, and it is already a central feature of dozens of different electronic devices and has won every new product award. To understand the unusual name, it is necessary to understand exactly what makes Bluetooth unique.
Bluetooth started in 1998, and won "best of show" at COMDEX in 1999. The first Bluetooth mobile phone and headset appeared in 2000, the first printer and laptop in 2001, first mouse and first digital camera in 2001, first stereo headphones in 2004, first watch in 2006 and first TV in 2007.
Bluetooth allows systems to be wireless as long as the system is room sized or smaller. This is especially useful for "personal area networks"--wearable electronics. The headphones do not need wires to connect to the rest of the system
With wires, what you put in one end of the wire you get out the other end of the wire. With Bluetooth, you can change the signal that is transmitted.
The system is named Bluetooth after the 10th-century Danish king Harold Bluetooth. Legend has it he earned that name because he ate so many blueberries that his teeth were stained blue. However, the quality that makes him relevant to wireless technology is that he was famous for getting warring factions to sit down and talk to each other. Bluetooth has unique software that allows very different devices to talk to each other.
The chief benefit of Bluetooth is getting different components of small systems to communicate with each over small distances without wires. Recently an experimental airplane has been developed in Portugal that replaces wires and control cables with Bluetooth technology. This makes the airplane cheaper and more reliable.
- Photo Credit blue tooth image by Mat Hayward from Fotolia.com
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