Bluetooth: history and origins

Bluetooth is everywhere. It is an integral part of our lives and everyone uses it. But do we know exactly what it is? Well, not many people do. It looks like wifi technology, it does almost the same thing as wifi, but it is not wifi. So let's explain how it works.

The conception


bluetooth logo



In 1994, the Swedish company Ericsson, whose engineers Sven Mattisson and Jaap Haartsen began to develop a brand new technology, which would allow phones to communicate with each other. No longer with a cable but with radio waves at short distances and with low energy consumption.


The project called MC Links was still in the conceptual stage due to its complexity and high costs. Ericsson quickly realized the complexity of this project.


In 1997, Intel recovered and relaunched the project and entrusted it to Jim Kardach, Head of Technology Development, in collaboration with Sven Mattisson, an engineer from Ericsson. From the beginning, the duo sees things in big for MC Links, especially the possibility to extend its scope to all kinds of electronic devices, not only phones. 


To do so, they contacted many leaders in the field such as Nokia, IBM and Toshiba. They invited them to take part in the development of the project, creating the BSIG. That is to say the Bluetooth Special Interest Group. This is the organization that oversees the development of Bluetooth standards and grants licenses to manufacturers.


The launch


The official release of Bluetooth was in 1999. However, it is only the first version because many problems appear. The transfer speed is limited to 1 MB/S, the field of action is restricted, it is little incorporated by manufacturers and its security leaves much to be desired compared to WiFi. 


Quickly considered obsolete, it was replaced by version 2.0 in 2004, correcting all the defects of the first version. This version brings a more stable connection, a transfer speed of 3 MB/S and an incorporation in cell phones, electronic diaries and MP3.


Technology continues to advance, files get larger, and more and more devices are connected together in the same spaces. That's when Bluetooth 3.0 arrives with faster transfer speeds (up to 24 MB/S) and an even more stable connection.


Bluetooth nowadays


Bluetooth connection


Now that we are in 2021, more than 20 years after the release of the first version of Bluetooth; we have integrated it into our phones, computers, headphones, speakers, printers, light bulbs, air conditioners, heaters, electrical outlets, fridges, and many more.


After more than 20 years of development, Bluetooth is everywhere in our lives, following the will of many engineers to connect people and objects close to each other, and thus open a world of possibilities. 


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