Sunday, December 10, 2006

Bluetooth

Bluetooth is one of the most popular words in the mobile industry. It is basically a cable replacement technology. It is a substitute to the cables which have become a pain in many houses and offices. Technically, a Bluetooth is a protocol of short range frequency hopping radio link.

It was first developed by Sven Mattison and Jaap Haartsen who were working for Ericsson Mobile platforms. Bluetooth is formally known as IEEE 802.15.1.

The name Bluetooth is derived from a Danish Viking and King Harald Blatand (translated as Bluetooth in English) who lived in the latter part of the 10th century. He united and controlled Denmark and Norway. He got his name from his very dark hair which was uncommon for Vikings. Blatand means dark complexion. However a more popular reason is that he had a strong inclination for eating blueberries which made his teeth stained with the color. Its logo merges with the Nordic runes analogous to the modern Latin H and B.

Bluetooth is known for its low power consumption and a low production cost. But at the same time it has a short range. However as it uses a radio communications system, the devices which are undergoing a Bluetooth communication need be in line of sight, as long as the transmission is powerful enough.

One of the most important applications of this Bluetooth is in data transfer. It uses the SAFER+ algorithm for authentication and key generation for preventing eavesdropping. It has even replaced the traditionally used Infrared. This is because data transfer in Infrared takes place in the form of straight lines where as on the other hand, for Bluetooth it is concentric circles. This technology has even crept into the gaming industry in the form of wireless controls for game consoles like Nintendo Wii, Microsoft Xbox 360, Sony's PlayStation 3.

Along with Bluetooth, there is the WiFi (Wireless Fidelity) which is widely used in homes and offices. Even in the game consoles mentioned above. WiFi uses the same radio frequency as that of Bluetooth, but with higher power consumption resulting in a stronger connection. Spatial capacity is a method used to compare the efficiency of wireless transmission protocols.

The future versions of Bluetooth code named Libson and Seattle concentrate more on enabling faster data transfer with low power operations.

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