It seems like all of today’s technology comes ready to be connected. Cars, phones, DVD players, computers, TVs…the list goes on. Heck, there are even ‘smart’ household appliances. Everything these days seems to be equipped with Bluetooth. You hear that word everywhere: ‘Bluetooth’. But if it still seems like some mysterious tech-thing that you only kind of understand, then this post is for you.
Q: What is Bluetooth?
A: Bluetooth is the name for a short-range, digital, radio-frequency (RF) technology that transmits sound and data between compatible electronic devices. The effective range of Bluetooth-device transmission is 33 feet (10 meters).
Q: Why is the technology called ‘Bluetooth’?
A: When Bluetooth wireless technology was created, its purpose was to unite elements of the cellular phone and computer industries. In that spirit of unification, the name refers to Danish King Harald “Blatand” (“Bluetooth”) Gormsson, who ruled over Denmark and Norway, thus unifying Scandinavia. As for King Harald’s nickname, it’s believed he had a conspicuous dead tooth that looked blue (or black, as “blue” meant dark).
Q: How is Bluetooth used?
A: Basically, Bluetooth technology provides secure communication of audio signals and data from one device to another without using cables. Different Bluetooth applications have the ability to connect various devices to one another—for example, computers to their accessories, telephones to ear-level receivers, stereo amplifiers to speakers, smartphones to computers—in a growing community of electronic gadgets.
Q: Are different brands of Bluetooth products compatible?
A: Yes—adherence to Bluetooth design standards guarantees compatibility across manufacturers. In fact, this compatibility is the very motivation behind Bluetooth’s development: unifying devices and technologies. Something to keep in mind: Bluetooth itself is not a product; it is a technology that connects products.
Q: How secure is a Bluetooth network?
A: Bluetooth is extremely secure because Bluetooth devices combine the use of a Pass Key and a specific address to identify other Bluetooth devices. Encryption can also be used to supplement the level of Bluetooth security.
Q: How do I know if my phone is Bluetooth compatible?
A: That information should be in your owner’s manual. If you don’t have your owner’s manual, contact your cell phone provider or look for that information on the provider’s website.
Q: What do the terms ‘pairing’ and ‘connecting’ mean?
A: Pairing is the process by which two Bluetooth-enabled devices see one another and recognize that they have the ability to share data. Connecting is the process by which the two devices are linked and made ready to share information. It’s analogous to plugging in a cable to connect the two. These processes take less than a minute, and the details of the connection are dictated by the specific devices being connected.