There are inexpensive bluetooth chips, like this XBee board, that allow creation of a wireless bluetooth connection with almost any electronic device.
The History of Bluetooth Technology
- Bluetooth is a form of data communication that uses wireless electromagnetic waves known as radio waves.
- A scientist named James Maxwell, developed the idea that by combining electrical fields and magnetic fields, electromagnetic waves were possible.
- An inventor named Heinrich Hertz is thought to have created the first electromagnetic radio wave using James Maxwell's equations. Today we still use the measure of frequency of a radio wave known as Hertz (Hz) in his honor.
- In 1994 scientists at a company called Ericsson, decided to try to use radio waves to allow electronic devices to communicate with each other. Instead of broadcasting radio waves for a long-distance they used radio waves within a frequency range of 2.4 to 2.485 GHz over a short distance.
- The name bluetooth was taken from a Danish King named Harold Bluetooth.
- This frequency range is unlicensed in many countries, which allows open-source development of bluetooth.
Uses for Bluetooth Communication and Bluetooth Technology
- There are many uses today for wireless bluetooth technology. Most uses involve communication and entertainment.
- Most smart phones now have bluetooth technology built into the phone.
- It is possible to stream digital music with bluetooth communication. There are wireless bluetooth speakers and bluetooth wireless headphones available to stream music from a bluetooth-enabled source such as an iPod, tablet or computer.
- Bluetooth technology is considered full-duplex data transfer, meaning that it allows two-way communication. With bluetooth two-way communication there are many devices such as wireless headsets and bluetooth systems built into cars allowing hands-free use of mobile phones.
- When two bluetooth devices establish a wireless communication connection, it is known as pairing.
- The distance that wireless bluetooth communication works is a minimum of 33 feet (10 meters). The maximum distance that bluetooth works is not set. The limit is based on the signal strength of the bluetooth transmitter.
- A bluetooth device designed for a distance of 33 feet (10 meters) is a standard consumer electronics range. This type of device is considered a class 2 radio.
- A benefit of wireless bluetooth communication over wi-fi or infrared communication is lower power use. Bluetooth was designed with low energy use in mind. A class 2 bluetooth device with a range of 33 feet (10 meters) typically uses about 30 mA of power while connected and 25 mA of power in idle mode. It can also power down automatically when not in use and easily reconnect. By comparison, most mobile wi-fi modules use over 300 mA when in use.
- Current bluetooth technology allows data transfer up to 25 megabytes per second. For comparison, high-definition video transfer rate from a blue-ray disc is about 19 megabytes per second.