Bluetooth Technology

Bluetooth technology uses short range (typically 10 to 30 metres) radio fequency bandwidth, to connect with a wide range of electronic devices and exchange data between them. A blue tooth technology cell phone typically has a 10 metre range, whilst there are transmitters available for laptops which have ranges up to 100 metres and there are reports of distances as far as 1km being achieved.


The name and logo are trademarks owned by the Bluetooth S.I.G. (Special Interest Group), which is a trade association representing the interests of its members. Amongst the thousands of member companies, are such household names as Microsoft, IBM, Intel, Toshiba, Ericsson, Nokia and Motorola.

Bluetooth technology can be used with a wide range of devices for fixed and mobile computing; devices such as cellphones, digital cameras, printers, laptops, PDA's, GPS receivers and desktop PC's or in our case, carputers. It avoids the necessity to use a tangle of cables to connect everything and eases the task of getting different pieces of equipment to talk to each other.

The frequency used is 2.45 GHz (in common with cell phones and microwave ovens). Because it uses radio waves to transmit, there does not need to be an unimpeded path between two devices as you would find with infra-red transmission. Bluetooth devices constantly "frequency hop" to increase security and help prevent eavesdropping.

Bluetooth Advantages

  • Bluetooth devices have no wires and are thus easier and tidier to install.
  • These devices are relatively inexpensive.
  • They establish communication between themselves automatically when in range of each other. There is no time taken up with configuration.
  • All these devices are built to the same standard, which means devices from different manufacturers will operate comfortably with each other.
  • They use low power transmitters so the energy consumption is minimal. This is particularly important when used in a carputer.

How did the name come about?

Harald Bluetooth

The name "BLUETOOTH" was originally used as a code name whilst the technology was under development. It was the nickname of King Harald I of Denmark, (and briefly also of Norway), whose other claim to fame was as the grandfather of King Canute.

Harald was seen as a unifying force amongst the Scandinavian Nations. The analogy was drawn with this new technology which simplified wireless communication between a variety of different devices. The initial development work was also carried out by Ericsson in Scandinavia. As time passed, the name stuck.

Bluetooth USB Dongle

Further details on Bluetooth Hardware Devices.