What is Bluetooth?

Developed in 1994, Bluetooth® is a wireless communications technology that is simple and secure, and is found in billions of devices ranging from mobile phones and computers to medical devices and home entertainment products. Bluetooth devices have tiny low power, low cost chips with built-in antennas that communicate with other Bluetooth devices, allowing connections without cables.

When two Bluetooth enabled devices connect to each other, this is called pairing. Almost any Bluetooth enabled device, almost everywhere in the world, can connect to other Bluetooth enabled devices located in proximity to one another while maintaining high levels of security. Remember, only paired devices can communicate with each other.bluetooth-logo2

Pairing occurs where one device is set to be discoverable (i.e. it requests to be paired), so that it shows up on the other device (e.g. your phone). The device that receives the request must accept it for the pairing to occur, creating a short-range temporary network known as a piconet. Each Bluetooth enabled device can simultaneously communicate with up to seven other devices within that single piconet and each device can also belong to several piconets simultaneously. This means the ways in which you can connect your Bluetooth devices is almost limitless.

Bluetooth simultaneously handles both data and voice transmissions, allowing wireless connections to hands-free headsets for voice calls, communication between wearable devices and phones or PCs. Bluetooth wireless technology is built into billions of products, from cars and mobile phones to medical devices and computers and even forks and toothbrushes. Bluetooth technology allows you to share voice, data, music, photos, videos and other information wirelessly between paired devices.

The Bluetooth technology standard requires a minimum range of 10 meters or 30 feet, but manufacturers can tune their Bluetooth settings to provide the range needed to support their product. Sometimes, you will see claims of ranges far exceeding 30 feet – the accuracy of those claims depends on the way the manufacturers configured their Bluetooth settings, and the physical conditions, e.g. are the devices in a clear line of sight, or obstructed by walls or other interferences?