Before we started using Bluetooth technology, searching for our mobile phone whenever it rang was a mandatory exercise, no more! Today, you can sync your mobile with your Bluetooth and forget the hassle of handling your phone physically. Bluetooth technology can also be used to connect computers and other devices. The technology enables data sharing over short distances (up to 30 feet). Bluetooth can be used to connect up to eight devices at a time. With time Bluetooth technology has evolved. Today, Bluetooth technology is embedded into a number of devices including headsets, livestock trackers, and video game controllers. From wireless mouse and keyboards to our mobile phones and PCs that use the technology to connect to other devices, we are surrounded by Bluetooth embedded devices.
The history of Bluetooth technology
Bluetooth technology was named after a legendary Danish King, Herald Blatand who was credited with bringing Norway and Denmark together. Blatand in English translates to Bluetooth. Just like Blatand unified the two countries, Bluetooth connects two different devices. Bluetooth technology was the result of an initiative undertaken by Ericsson Mobile Communications in the early 1990s to help mobile phone users communicate with other users effectively without using cables. In 1998, IBM, Nokia, and Toshiba joined hands with Ericsson to form the Bluetooth Special Interest Group. In 1999, the group launched the first version of Bluetooth technology which had a data rate speed of 1Mbps. Till date, five versions of the technology have been launched.
How the technology works
Bluetooth networks classify devices into two categories: master device and a slave device. While a master is a device that initiates a connection, slaves(there can be up to seven slaves) are the devices that connect to the master. The master device has complete control over the traffic and communications link. Slave devices need to get permission from the master to transmit data over the network. To establish a connection, the master device sends a radio signal to slaves asking them to connect. Slaves choosing to respond will have to synchronize their hop frequencies and sync their clock with that of the master device. Slaves can share data only in a time slot reserved for them by the master.
Different Bluetooth profiles
Bluetooth profiles define the type of information that is shared by the module.
Serial Port Profile: SPP is one of the most basic Bluetooth profiles. In SPP, all the devices can send and receive data.
Human Interface Device: Is used in Bluetooth enabled mouse, keyboards, and joysticks.
Advanced Audio Distribution Profile: Also known as A2DP, the profile defines how audio is transmitted. MP3 players and Bluetooth enabled speakers to use this profile.
Benefits of Bluetooth technology
- Chips used in Bluetooth enabled devices to consume less power, which ensures long battery life.
- Provides a secure way to share data.
- Helps transfer data and also enables verbal communication.
- The structure of the network allows the devices to make full use of the frequency available to them, thereby, improving the quality of the connection
The road ahead
Bluetooth technology heralded the era of wireless communication. The technology is expected to play an important role in the future. Researchers all over the world are working on different projects focused on coming up with novel features that can help make the full use of Internet of Things technology. Currently, many projects focused on finding new applications of Bluetooth technology in the healthcare sector are underway. In the near future, individuals will be able to use Bluetooth technology to monitor their body temperature, metabolism, and other vital parameters. Once the user analyzes the data, the technology will share the info with the doctor.
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