Nowadays wireless technology has brought a revolution in the world of technology and Bluetooth has played an important role in this revolution. There is a wide range of consumer products that we are using in our daily life, operating with the help of Bluetooth, these products are wireless neckbands and headphones, smartwatches, video game controllers, live trackers, etc. If you are using such products then you might be interested to know what is bluetooth and how it works. So let's learn everything you need to know about Bluetooth technology.
What Is Bluetooth?
We can define Bluetooth as a short-range wireless communication technology that allows smartphones, computers, and other communication devices that use Bluetooth technology to connect together and transmit data or voice without the need for wires over a short range. Bluetooth technology has evolved to get rid of the wires that were required to connect two devices before the invention of Bluetooth keeping the secure connection in mind.
After the invention of Bluetooth, a wide range of Bluetooth-enabled devices could connect and communicate securely together, and share their data with each other. The purpose of developing Bluetooth technology was to provide budget-friendly wireless gadgets such as keyboards, speakers, headphones, and other peripherals that no longer require wires to connect to other devices such as computers, smartphones, etc. Over time, more advancements have been made in Bluetooth technology and more advanced devices such as stereos, fitness trackers, and health monitors have been developed. You can find Bluetooth technology in almost all the technological devices that you come across these days.
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Short Definitions Of Bluetooth
Bluetooth is a short-range wireless communication technology that allows devices such as mobile phones, computers, and peripherals to transmit data or voice wirelessly over short distances.
Bluetooth aims to replace the cables that normally connect devices, while still keeping the communication between them open and secure.
Invention Of Bluetooth
Bluetooth is a wireless data protocol that provides a secure connection over a 2.4 GHz network and enables devices to send and receive data over a short distance. It was initially intended to be an internal project at Nokia in the late 1990s, but it quickly turned into a standard for wireless data.
The first mainstream Bluetooth protocol was launched as Bluetooth 1.0 and went through several iterations through to the current Bluetooth 4.x and Bluetooth 5.x, Bluetooth 4.0 was important because it introduced Bluetooth Low Energy (also known as Bluetooth LE or BLE). Bluetooth 4.x is also known as Bluetooth Smart as it enables compatibility with traditional Bluetooth and Bluetooth LE.
Traditionally Bluetooth was designed to transmit large amounts of data over short distances with products such as hands-free, headsets and speakers for phones. However, Bluetooth LE is a newer, lower-power standard that uses the same carrier system and basic protocol, however, it is designed for battery-operated systems that can only communicate with each other using a sleep mode between transmissions. The device requires small amounts of data to be sent and is perfect for mobile, power-conservative devices. Bluetooth LE is a standard feature of today's smartphones and computers and due to the simplistic nature of BLE, it is very easy to set up communication with these devices.
Bluetooth communicates with various electronic devices and creates personal networks operating within the unlicensed 2.4 GHz bands. The operating range is based on device class. A variety of digital devices, including MP3 players, mobile and peripheral devices, and personal computers all use Bluetooth.
History Of Bluetooth
Bluetooth technology was first developed in 1994 by Hartson working on Ericsson Radio System.
Companies like Ericsson, IBM, Ericsson Sony, Toshiba together formed SIG in 1998.
Made "Bluetooth" able to work formally and issued rules and instructions for it.
The name "Bluetooth" was suggested by someone and officially adopted by everyone.
Specifications of Bluetooth 1.0 has been officially released.
Bluetooth was declared the "Best of Show Technology Award" by COMDEX.
Various devices (mobile phones, PC cards, mouse, headsets, and laptops) with Bluetooth compatibility were launched.
USB dongle prototype unveiled at COMDEX.
Bluetooth SIG Inc. was formed.
The first hands-free car kit was launched.
The first GPS receiver and Bluetooth-enabled digital camera launched.
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) approved the 802.15.1 specification for Bluetooth technology.
The first Bluetooth-enabled MP3 player was launched.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first Bluetooth-enabled medical system.
The Bluetooth SIG adopted Enhanced Data Rate (EDR).
Bluetooth technology embedded in 250 million devices.
Launched the first Bluetooth-enabled stereo headphones.
Bluetooth installed on 1 billion devices.
How Is Bluetooth Named As "Bluetooth"?
During the summer of 1997, Intel's Jim Kardach met Ericsson's Sven Mattison over a drink at a local pub. When they were together, the two began to talk about history, and Matison had brought with him a book called "The Longship", in which he had learned about King Harold Bluetooth. After this meeting, Kardach went home to find out more about King Bluetooth and how it was able to link the different parts of Scandinavia together and connected the scattered groups.
The Danish King Harold Bluetooth inspired the name of the technology. The two Norse runes representing Harold Bluetooth's initials are combined to form the Bluetooth logo.
When the name "Bluetooth" was suggested to the Special Interest Group, it was only a placeholder. Of course, the term became such an instant hit, that the organization decided they wouldn't change it at all.
Today, the Bluetooth brand has a global recognition rate of 92%. This means that almost the whole world can recognize the Bluetooth logo. When it comes to great branding, there's no other company like Bluetooth.
Types Of Bluetooth Devices
As Bluetooth was developed to connect and transfer data from one device to another. There are different forms of data so there are different types of Bluetooth devices for different types of data transmission which are as follows:
The headset is the mostly used Bluetooth-enabled device and everyone is aware of the headset. The headset is a device used to transfer voice data from our smartphone or computer. Actually, we connect it from our smartphone or computer with the help of Bluetooth and we can listen to music and can make and receive calls wirelessly, without touching our smartphone.
2. Stereo Headset
A stereo headset is a device used for listening to music. We can connect it to any Bluetooth-enabled device such as a smartphone or a music player device. Thus we can say that a stereo headset is a device that enables us to connect to any Bluetooth-enabled device and allows us to listen to music wirelessly at short distances within the range of the music player device.
3. Bluetooth system in-car
Nowadays car comes with an inbuilt wireless music system that allows us to connect our smartphone to the system using Bluetooth and play and listen to music from the music player in the smartphone so that we don't feel bored while traveling in a car. It also allows us to make and receive calls without touching the mobile phone.
Before the development of Bluetooth whenever we wanted to print any document like a picture or any text document from any other device using a printer then we had to connect our device to the printer using wire and then we could print the document. Nowadays printers have been launched that support Bluetooth technology which allows us to print documents wirelessly. Using these printers to print any data all we need to do is we need to connect any Bluetooth-enabled device like PDA or laptop to the printer and print the document.
A Bluetooth-enabled webcam also works as a normal webcam but does not require a wire to connect it to another device. Since it supports Bluetooth and connects wirelessly, it doesn't need to be docked to or near a computer.
6. GPS Device
A Bluetooth-enabled GPS device offers more advanced functionality than a typical GPS device. It just needs to be connected to any Bluetooth-enabled device that supports voice recognition technology. Now we can communicate with the device only through our voice and get the direction of our address without holding or touching our GPS device.
7. Wireless Keyboard And Mouse
There are two types of mouse and keyboards available wired keyboard and mouse another is wireless mouse and keyboard. The wired keyboard and mouse come with a wire that is required to plug in the computer in order to connect to the computer. Another is a wireless keyboard and mouse which contains a USB dongle that receives data transmitted by the wireless mouse or keyboard.
How Does Bluetooth Work?
Different from radio, television, and cell phones, Bluetooth transmits and receives radio waves in a band of 79 different frequencies (channels) centered on 2.45 GHz. This frequency band is only used by industrial, scientific, and medical equipment, and it is not shared by any other technologies.
The position of the Bluetooth RF transceiver is at the physical layer. With a 1MHz gap, approximately 79 Bluetooth channels are set up. Short-distance voice and data transmission are possible, resulting in Wireless PANs.
An adapter makes up a Bluetooth device. An electronic device may already have a Bluetooth adapter built-in or it may be available as a card to connect the device.
When electronic devices interfere with one another's radio signals within the range of each other, Link Management Protocol (LMP) is in charge of peer-to-peer message exchange. This layer establishes the link and handles packet size negotiations. If necessary, this layer can segment the packets and reassemble them.
The Bluetooth device made possible by the Service delivery protocol (SDP) joins the piconet and contacts every service that is offered. The star topology of a piconet has one master and seven slaves. The Bluetooth technology makes use of the Master and Slave concept. The devices can only start communication after the master takes the first step. After the profiles match, Bluetooth GloballD is transmitted between the electronic devices, and a connection is established.
In order to prevent signal interference, Bluetooth technology uses frequency hopping. Following packet transmission or reception, the Bluetooth signal changes frequencies. Five-time slots can be covered by each packet.
An asynchronous data channel, three concurrent synchronous voice channels, or a channel that supports both synchronous voice and asynchronous data are all supported by Bluetooth technology.
How Does Bluetooth Connect Multiple Devices Together Without Any Interference?
Up to eight Bluetooth devices can be in communication at once and automatically detect and connect to one another. Because each pair of devices uses a different one of the 79 available channels, they don't interfere with one another. When two devices want to communicate, they randomly select a channel and, if it's already in use, switch to another channel (a technique known as spread-spectrum frequency hopping).
Pairs of devices constantly change frequency, which happens thousands of times per second, to lower the risks of interference from other electrical equipment (and to improve safety).
Is Bluetooth Better Or Worse Than Wi-Fi?
Wi-Fi is designed to shuttle vast amounts of data between computers and the Internet, often over great distances. It may include more elaborate protection and it generally uses higher power, so arguably presents a slightly higher health risk when used over a long period of time. Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are complementary technologies, not rivals, and you can easily use both to make connecting your electronic gadgets more convenient for you.
From some users' points of view, WiFi and Bluetooth are quite similar because they do similar things. But in reality, both of the technologies are completely different, Difference between Bluetooth and Wifi are:
Bluetooth is used to connect two similar or two different devices like mobile to mobile or mobile to a headset or smartwatch and is used to share data between them over very short distances. WiFi also uses to connect two similar or two different devices like mobile to mobile or mobile to a computer and is used to share vast amounts of data between them over a more distance than Bluetooth range. But Bluetooth is relatively safe, uses little power, connects automatically, and in principle presents little or no health risk. Whereas Wifi may have more complex security measures and typically consumes more energy, so when used for a long period, it may cause a slight health risk.
We should not compare both the technology because they have their own different works and different working principles. Hence both are complementary technologies, not rivals, and you can easily use both to connect your electronic gadgets and utilize their unique work for you.
How Secure Is Bluetooth?
When used with caution, Bluetooth is considered a fairly secure wireless technology. To prevent accidental eavesdropping by other nearby devices, connections are encrypted. When Bluetooth devices are paired, they frequently shift radio frequencies, in order to prevent easy intrusion.
Versions Of Bluetooth Technology
There have been many developments in Bluetooth technology over time, on the basis of which now there are 5 main versions of Bluetooth.
This hybridization was released in the year 1999, and its maximum data transfer speed is up to 0.7 Mbps. Which can work up to 10m (33 ft) distance.
Bluetooth 2.0 was released in the year 2004. It supports a maximum distance of 30m (100 ft) and up to 3 Mbps. Enhanced Data Rate (EDR) and Secure Simple Pairing (BT 2.1) features were added.
They can also transmit data over a distance of up to 30m (100 ft) just like Bluetooth 2.0 and are capable of transfer speeds of up to 3 Mbps. It was released in 2009. Bluetooth 3.0 included High Speed (HS), L2CAP Enhanced Modes, and Enhanced Power Control.
Bluetooth 4.0 was released in 2013. It has a data transfer speed of up to 3 Mbps and can transmit data up to 60 m (200 ft). It supports Low Energy (BLE), Core Specification Addenda 1-4 (BT 4.1), and IoT features (BT 4.2).
Bluetooth 5.0 is the latest version which was released in 2017. Which is the longest-range Bluetooth hybrid so far. It is capable of transmitting data at a speed of 3 Mbps up to 240 m (800 ft). It features the most advanced Slot Available Masking (SAM), LE Long Range, Core Specification Addenda 6 (BT 5.1), and LE Audio (BT 5.2).
Infrared vs Bluetooth
In Infrared (IR) technology, two devices must be in direct line of sight, so this technology is not perfect for mobile devices. But Bluetooth technology have not such requirements, two devices can be connected to each other without any direct contact. So Bluetooth technology is a better alternative to infrared technology.
Key Features Of Bluetooth
The following are the key features of Bluetooth Technology:
Easy To Connect: Bluetooth is a very simple technology that makes establishing a wireless connection very easily.
Connectivity Range: Bluetooth has a range of 10 to 50 meters that it can use to transfer data.
Data Transfer Speed: Different Bluetooth versions have different data transfer speeds. With Bluetooth V5.0, data transfer rates can reach 48 Mbps (Megabit). 1 Megabit is equal to 0.125 Megabytes.
Operation: Bluetooth uses radio frequency technology, that can penetrate the wall, so we can connect two devices even on two sides of the wall.
Spreading: Bluetooth uses FHSS (Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum) technology.
Less power consumption: This uses relatively little power. which increases its appeal.
Lower Prices: They are less expensive than other comparable technologies.
Bluetooth RF And Baseband Specifications
Modulation type - Gaussian Frequency Shift Keying (GFSK)
Peak data rate - around 1Mbps
RF Bandwidth - 220KHz and 1MHz
RF frequency band- 2.4 GHz
No. of RF carriers - 23/79
RF carrier spacing - 1 MHz
Frequency Hopping - 1600 hops/s
Communication Link- Time Division Duplex mode
Transmission power - about 0.1-watt.
Distance coverage - ranges from 10m to 100m.
No. of connections -7 simultaneous links are possible in a star configuration.
Advantages Of Bluetooth
Bluetooth has a variety of advantages, some of which are listed below.
You can easily transfer data between two devices with the help of Bluetooth.
It's very simple and easy to use Bluetooth. By enabling the Bluetooth icon on the phone or other smart device, we can pair the device with Bluetooth.
Any smart device has built-in Bluetooth.
The device can be connected to Bluetooth without a wire.
There are numerous devices that use Bluetooth, including headphones, smartphones, laptops, dongles, desktop mouse, keyboards, and printers.
Data communication is secure in Bluetooth technology because FHSS is used.
Less power is used by Bluetooth.
Any user can purchase Bluetooth because it is so inexpensive.
Disadvantages Of Bluetooth
Even Bluetooth has a lot of advantages, but it also has some disadvantages. So let us know Bluetooth's disadvantages as well.
Compared to Wi-Fi, Bluetooth has a smaller range.
Bluetooth transfers data at a very slow rate.
The battery of the device is used when Bluetooth is on, even not in use. So it is advised not to leave Bluetooth on when not in use.
Because Bluetooth operates on radio frequency, there may be a security risk when using it to transfer personal data.
What Are Bluetooth Networks And Their Types?
The network where many Bluetooth users are connected and communicating is known as the Bluetooth network. These networks mainly consist of two main components Master and Slave.
Bluetooth has primarily prioritized two different network topologies.
When one master and one slave, or one master and several slaves, are present, a piconet is formed. In a piconet, there can only be a maximum of 7 active slaves. Because of this, a small network known as a piconet, which can only support a maximum of 8 devices, allows for communication between them. Only when requested by the Bluetooth master device, slaves transmit. There are usually 255 slaves in the parking state.
The master polls active slaves to initiate transmission. Each station receives an 8-bit parking address only. Because of this, a piconet can only support 255 parked slaves. These parked stations can only join after 2 milliseconds. All other stations might not join right away. In a given area of Bluetooth radio coverage, there are only 10 of these piconets.
Scatternets are collections of multiple Piconets. A device may take part in several piconets. It needs to be time-shared and synchronized with the current piconet's master.
It supports data rates that range from 720 kbps to 24 Mbps and are based on various versions. Depending on the power class of the Bluetooth device it supports, they have a range of 1 to 100 meters.