Bluetooth

The first thing which came in my mind when I heard the word BLUETOOTH was–there should have been a man with a “BLUE TOOTH” who invented this Technology.

But actually It was invented by ERICSSON (a Swedish multinational company–provider of communication technology and services) in 1994. Jaap Haartsen and Sven Mattisson were one of those members who worked on this technology at ERICSSON.

SVEN MATTISSON (Image Credit : Lund University)

Sven Mattisson graduated as an engineer and in 1995 he came to work for ERICSSON MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS. Where he began to work with a Dutchman called Jaap Haartsen (who was already working there as a wireless communications engineer), on a concept in which short range radio waves were used to connect the mobile phones instead of cables. Initially these were called MC Links or Multi Communicator links.

In 1997 Jim Kardach, head of technology development at INTEL became Mattisson’s colleague and they shared their vision of using the MC Links (Multi Communicator links) for other devices. And later they were joined by some famous companies including INTEL, Nokia and Toshiba.

haartsen-portrait-image
Jaap Haartsen Image credit: cnn.com

In 1998 the MC Links technology was launched, but under the name “BLUETOOTH”.

Mattisson tells how the name BLUETOOTH replaced MC Link…

At the end of the summer of 1997, Jim Kardach and I were having a beer together in Toronto. I had given jim the English translation of Frans G. Bengtsson’s “THE LONG SHIPS” and he was fascinated by the man described as its hero’s fatherinlaw, “HARALD BLATAND” or “HAROLD BLUETOOTH” in English. So we began to talk about Bluetooth instead of MC Link. We had engaged consultants to dream up a suitable name but nobody had come up with anything good as Bluetooth.”

jim-kardach-mr-bluetooh-300x217
Jim Kardach Image credit: intel.com

Currently, Jaap Haartsen is a wireless expert at PLANTRONICS. Mattison is still working at ERICSSON, and when he was asked what was it like being on the Bluetooth development team?

He said,”at first we were only two, Jaap and me, but soon many more people joined. As we had full support from Ericsson, the team spirit was very positive. It is of course very nice to see the fruits of your efforts now almost everywhere. Even though Jaap and I made the first concept, over time, several hundred people have been involved in the development of Bluetooth and I think of it often as a journey more than an accomplishment.


Now let’s talk about what actually happens when you turn your Bluetooth on…

So what do you think, which signals begin to leak from your phone when you press the button to share your favorite song?

You must be guessing that it will be one of rays in the electromagnetic spectrum. And that’s true! Bluetooth uses same microwave frequency to transmit the signals (in the range of 2.4GHz to 2.4835GHz) as used in Microwave ovens.

(Giga is equal to one thousand million or 1,000,000,000 and Hertz is the SI unit of frequency, equal to one cycle per second. so 1GigaHertz or 1GHz is equal to one thousand million cycles per second)

Every device which has BLUETOOTH includes a small computer chip that transmits radio signals over a short distance, usually about 10 meter (the maximum range of Bluetooth is 100 meters ).

 Did you notice that I used radio signals instead of microwaves?  But why?

Here comes the answer…

microwaves
Its just a doodle, don’t use your scale to measure it !

As you can see in the diagram, microwaves are in the range of radio waves. That’s why microwaves are sometimes considered to be very SHORT RADIO WAVES (high frequency and highenergy radio waves). The frequency range of BLUETOOTH is also in the microwave frequency range. So next time when you see “SHORT RADIO WAVES” instead of “microwaves” just recall this doodle!

Two devices connected by Bluetooth chips send each other the same information you could send via a cable, such as music, video, audio and pictures.

 But why these signals do not mix up or interfere with the others?

Its done in a very smart way… to minimize the disturbance from other appliances, devices change the frequency they are using. Up to 1600 times a second!

BLUETOOTH uses a SPREAD SPECTRUM FREQUENCY HOPPING TECHNOLOGY. That is, it uses multiple frequencies at the same time. So even if you are in a crowd where dozens of people, standing next to you are using Bluetooth and sharing things, you can share anything to your friend without any disturbance.

Because Bluetooth can change its frequency between 79 different channels in the frequency range of 2.4GHz to 2.4835GHz.

Every single Bluetooth device has a unique 48bit address, and when devices pair up, they share their addresses, names, profiles and usually store them in memory. They also share a common secret key, which allows them to bond whenever they’re together in the future, that’s why you don’t have to pair up your devices every time.

Here is another question … are those Bluetooth devices which we fit in our ears and talk (without troubling our hands to pick up the phone), also work on the same process?

And the answer is yes. Actually almost every phone is manufactured with Bluetooth chips already in place. And the headsets (which we usually say Bluetooth) ) are sold separately but they also use the same Bluetooth technology or Bluetooth chip to transmit the sounds coming through your phone to the headset.

It also picks up your voice on a small microphone in the headset and transmits those sounds back through your phone, so you can talk on your phone even if you are in a separate room.

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