Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Bluetooth: Technology’s hottest trend

TODAY, as you glance through newspapers, tech magazines or discussion forums, you are likely to find ample usage of the term ‘Bluetooth’. Though at first glance it may sound like a grave dental condition, Bluetooth is actually one of technology’s hottest trends and is making life easier for gadget-savvy business people.

What’s Bluetooth?

Just glance at your desktop (or behind it) and what’s amply noticeable is the number of cables connecting your notebook/PC to the printer, scanner, mobile etc. Also while purchasing or upgrading, getting the right cable and compatible connecting ports can be both frustrating and expensive. In an effort to untangle the hassles of cables and connectors, a group of manufacturers put their heads together and developed a wireless equipment standard that would connect devices like computers, digital cameras, handheld cameras, mobile phones, headsets, printers etc, without wires. They named the new standard “Bluetooth”. Today, this trade association is known as the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) and is backed by over 2,000 companies and development experts, comprising leaders in the telecommunications, computing, industrial automation and network industries. These leaders are driving the development of Bluetooth wireless technology, a low cost short-range wireless specification for connecting mobile devices and bringing them to the market. Big names in telecom are delivering products as diverse as PCs, notebooks, mobiles, PDAs, printers, headsets, automotive hands-free systems, disposable sensors, pulse oximeters, gaming devices, barcode scanners.

While every technology has its drawbacks, Bluetooth is no exception. One of the major shortcomings about Bluetooth is its speed. When Wi-Fi networks start around 5Mbit/s, Bluetooth’s sedate 700 kbit/s speed is a disadvantage. The emerging new version of Bluetooth is expected to change that, by boosting the speed to 3 Mbit/s (This is still only about half the speed of traditional 802.11b Wi-Fi, but nevertheless, much faster).

What’s in a name:
Bluetooth takes its name from Harald Bluetooth, a viking and king of Denmark who was renowned for his ability to help people communicate. Most notably he united Denmark and Norway. If you are wondering where the name Bluetooth actually came from, Harald apparently enjoyed eating blueberries, to such an extent that his teeth were stained blue, hence the name - Bluetooth.
posted by Joby on 2:43 PM | Permalink |
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