In 10th century Denmark there was a king by the name of Harold Bluetooth and he was widely credited with bringing together a disjointed kingdom and helping the various Viking tribes begin the conversion to Christianity. You might be wondering what on earth that has to do with Bluetooth technology today, but the technology was actually named after him. Bluetooth technology was created as a way of allowing various different communication technologies to connect with one another. In the same way Harold Bluetooth brought those Danish fiefdoms together, Bluetooth technology has brought our various devices together over the last 20 years.
While the name of Bluetooth was first coined around 1997 the technology was actually invented at the end of the 80s. Needless to say it’s come a long way since that time and the Bluetooth that was used in 1997 is very different from the technology we use today. In this article we take a closer look at the evolution of Bluetooth technology and how it’s made our lives easier.
Bluetooth 1.0 and Its Variations
The first Bluetooth standard was referred to as Bluetooth 1.0 and introduced the capability of two devices to communicate together without wires over the radio spectrum. Without getting too technical, suffice it to say it made our lives a lot more convenient. This was a revolutionary standard in its day and it allowed us to connect two devices together, such as a cell phone and a laptop, for the purpose of exchanging basic information. These devices worked pretty well, but the data exchange rate was limited to 1 Mbps – not bad at the time but archaic by today’s standards.
Bluetooth 2.0 and Its Variations
Bluetooth 1.0 remained the go-to standard for several years until it was replaced in 2004 by Bluetooth 2.0. This new standard made several improvements; most notably it allowed for something called EDR, or an Enhanced Data Rate. With this new standard it was now possible to exchange data between two different devices at a rate of up to three Mbps, which had the bonus effect of reducing a lot of frustration over slow data rate transfers. This type of technology also uses lower power consumption, which quite simply means it doesn’t drain your battery as fast while being used.
Bluetooth 3.0 and Its Variations
While Bluetooth 2.0 is still being used in many devices today improvements have been made and have been introduced into many devices. Bluetooth 3.0 vastly improved the potential for data transfer between two devices by linking up with another radio technology called 802.11. When Bluetooth is running in conjunction with this technology it’s capable of achieving data rate transfers of up to 24 Mbps. At these types of rates there’s a lot less potential for lost information such as you might experience from time to time when your song appears to cut out over a Bluetooth device. If you haven’t understood the reason to switch to a device with a newer Bluetooth standard this fact may convince you. There’s nothing more annoying than listening to music or a phone call or over a Bluetooth device and having to put up with the sound cutting in and out.
Bluetooth 4.0 and Its Variations
If you’re thinking that Bluetooth couldn’t get much better beyond the Bluetooth 3.0 we’ve already discussed above, you’d be surprised to know that there is a new standard called Bluetooth 4.0 and its variations. Why should you consider upgrading to a device with Bluetooth 4.0? Well there’s actually a very good reason – Bluetooth 4.0 introduces the capability to collect and interact with data from low energy sources which are used in things such as heart rate monitors, and thermometers. If you’re an active individual then this Bluetooth standard will likely be very interesting to you as you can quickly check your heart rate on a compatible device after an intense workout.
While it may be hard to imagine where Bluetooth technology will go next the one thing we’ve learned with modern technology is that it’s always improving. Bluetooth has come a long way over the years and now offers excellent speeds and connections to various different devices that make our lives easier, but I’ve no doubt that these standards will continue to change and evolve. It truly is an exciting world we live in and while I can’t tell you where Bluetooth technology will go to next, I can tell you that I look forward to finding out.