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What is Bluetooth? How it works?

Bluetooth is no longer a new thing in today’s world. It is one of the most used technologies in the urban world. Let us look into its origin and the basic concepts besides it to understand one of today’s most ubiquitous technologies.

origins of Bluetooth technologyOrigin of Bluetooth

Bluetooth wireless technology is an open specification for a low-cost, low-power, short-range radio technology for ad-hoc wireless communication of voice and data anywhere in the world.

Bluetooth mainly came into being as a solution to the cumbersome problem of cables and thus it was conceived as a cable replacement technology. It was mainly built for providing a short-range wireless solution to the consumers. But soon other uses of the technology took shape and it heralded into a new era of wireless communication.

Why the Name Bluetooth?

Have you ever imagined how the name Bluetooth relates to the technology? After all a wireless technology doesn’t seem to have any relation with the name Bluetooth, atleast Icannot make out any relation with the name and the technology. But then why such a weird name to a cable free solution. I mean I could understand if someone calls it wireless or cordless or something of that sort. But Bluetooth sounds strange! But there is a reason for the same, and here is the reason:

It was taken from the 10th century Danish King Harald Blatand who unified Denmark and Norway. The implication is that Bluetooth does the same with communications protocols, uniting them into one universal standard.

Origin of the Logo

bluetooth logoThe Bluetooth logo design merges the Germanic runic alphabet analogous to the modern Latin letters H and B. H&B based on Harald Blatand.

How Bluetooth Works?

  • Bluetooth uses something called frequency-hopping spread spectrum, which is a radio technology. Frequency-hopping spread spectrum (FHSS) is a technique of transmitting radio signals by hopping or changing a carrier among many frequency channels, using some sequence which is known to both transmitter and receiver.
  • This technology breaks the data into small packets and then sends these chunks.
  • Bluetooth supports the following kind of broadcasts between the devices in a piconet.
    • Wireless point-to-point
    • Wireless point-to-multipoint

It is like establishing a master-slave relationship. The Bluetooth devices can function both as a master and a slave. Piconet is nothing but a network on master and one or more slaves. Each Piconet is defined by a different channel to which the user synchronizes. Each of these Piconets has a maximum capacity. See the adjacent figure to understand the Piconet structure. All the devices in the Piconet hop together.

The Piconets communicates with each other and thus form a network structure which is called scatternet. There can be upto 10 piconets in a scatternet. Multiple Piconets can operate under the same physical space. This works as an ad-hoc peer to peer network.
Check out the picture below to understand the scatternet concept.
Scatternet - Piconet communication
So now that we have understood the basics behind the Bluetooth technology, let us look into the security factors which are taken care of in the Bluetooth technology.

Bluetooth Security

  • As a security measure the level encryption and authentication are linked.
  • Personal identification numbers are used for accessing the devices.
  • Long encryption keys are used.
  • These keys are not transmitted over wireless. Other parameters are transmitted over the wireless which in combination with certain information known to the device, can generate the keys.

Bluetooth is used to exchange information over the devices such as mobile phones, telephones, laptops, personal computers, telephones, printers, digital cameras, video games consoles etc. This is one technology which has provided a lot of advantages to the users.

The main benefits of Bluetooth are ease of use. The success of Bluetooth depends on the proper integration with the consumer products. Consumers are going always interested in the ease of application rather than the technology. So Bluetooth’s success factors depend on the benefits it provides to the consumers through interoperability, mass production, and end user experience. So the future is bright and the future is Blue!


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13 Responses

  1. Nice piece of writing— The Histroy behind the name of Bluetooth is really informative……keep writing

    Chilling summers……….

  2. Good article. Simple and to the point.

  3. Good one Pradz!!! Way to go!!!

  4. Well aritten article.. really informative.. waiitng for these kind of infomrative pieces from you

  5. really interesting.. good piece of work.

  6. I knew some of it from last semester’s Digital Data Communications. But this increased my knowledge! And it was more interestingly written than in the text book I was following! (Well text books are never clear, are they!?)

    Thank you.

  7. I never knew this much about Blue Tooth Technology. Very useful article. Please also write about 3G Technology.