Bluetooth – Simply explained

by Johannes

Bluetooth is used in numerous devices such as smartphones, laptops and music systems. What Bluetooth is exactly and how the technology works is explained in this practical tip.

Bluetooth: What is it anyway? Simply explained!

Bluetooth is a special method that transmits data by radio. This eliminates the need for a cable connection between two devices. Bluetooth can transmit any kind of data, including music.

  • The first version of Bluetooth was developed in 1999, since then Bluetooth has been continuously developed further by numerous companies such as HP, Intel and IBM in cooperation. Since 2009, Bluetooth has been available in version 4.0, and in 2016 Bluetooth 5.0 was introduced.
  • There are different types of Bluetooth devices that reach different ranges from 1 to 100 metres. In practice, the distance between the two Bluetooth devices may be between one and ten metres for the connection to stand.
  • The name Bluetooth is derived from the Danish King Harald Blauzahn. At that time, he ensured an alliance between Norway and Sweden, thus establishing a firm connection between the two countries.
  • The logo is also based on Harald Blauzahn. It is a combination of his initials H and B. However, not in Latin script, but in Germanic runes.

Bluetooth in practice: devices & areas of application

Bluetooth is not just Bluetooth. Depending on the wishes of the manufacturer, the Bluetooth device has different profiles. The “A2DP” profile is suitable for transmitting music, whereas the “HSP” profile is only suitable for transmitting voice via headsets.

  • Bluetooth and mobile phones are now inseparable. Every smartphone and mobile phone of the last 10 years is equipped with Bluetooth. As a rule, Bluetooth is used there to transmit music wirelessly to headphones or music systems.
  • Many computers and laptops are also equipped with Bluetooth. If this is not the case, you can retrofit Bluetooth with a small USB adapter. On PCs, wireless keyboards and mice are usually connected via Bluetooth.
  • Free-phone systems in cars also always work via Bluetooth. The connection between car and mobile phone is established in a few seconds with Bluetooth.
  • Mobile speakers and music systems also come with Bluetooth in many cases. The controllers of games consoles such as the Wii, PlayStation or Xbox also connect via Bluetooth.
  • Potentially, any electronic device that sends or receives data can be equipped with Bluetooth. For example, Bluetooth is also used in industry or in hearing aids to read out data.

Advantages and disadvantages of Bluetooth

  • Before Bluetooth existed, infrared was the means of choice for transferring data wirelessly from A to B. Infrared was used in old Nokia mobile phones and GameBoys, among others. However, the two devices had to be right next to each other and the transmission speed was also very slow.
  • Bluetooth provided a remedy for this and is still being developed further today. In recent years, this has increased the transmission rate, improved security and reduced power consumption.
  • In the meantime, more and more devices are using WLAN instead of Bluetooth to transmit data. This trend is particularly noticeable with music systems. Bluetooth still lags behind when it comes to large data volumes and long distances.
  • Bluetooth transmits on the frequency between 2.402 GHz and 2.480 GHz. This can quickly lead to interference and shorter ranges if other radio operators such as routers or DECT phones are nearby.
  • Conclusion: Bluetooth has become the standard for quick and easy transmissions between two devices. Only with large amounts of data and long distances does the weakness of Bluetooth become apparent.

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