The History And Development Of Bluetooth Technology
- 21 Nov, 2018
Technology is making great steps towards ensuring that users have a comfortable experience. Bluetooth technology is no different. In fact, Bluetooth is one of the most popular technologies used all over the world. With various devices supporting this technology, and the fact that its usability is simple and requires no training at all, has seen it being incorporated in every device’s in-built applications. Android, windows, Sony and even iPhone have this application in both their cell phones as well as laptops and recently, even radios have now joined the parade.
What is Bluetooth
So what is Bluetooth? Bluetooth is a wireless technology used to transfer files. It has limited functioning range over which it can allow transfer of data from one person to the other when their individual devices are paired via the Bluetooth network. The short range is owed to the fact that the frequencies that it operates within range between 2.4 and 2.485GHz. This small difference is the main reason why Bluetooth is a short-range technology. This however does not limit the size of the files that can be shared. Bluetooth technology bears 79 channels. Its connectivity is designed in packet-oriented commands or protocols. Data is accurately split into a variety of packets that are then transmitted through either one of the many channels.
History of Bluetooth
In 1998, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) was established. This group originally hosted companies including Intel, Toshiba, IBM, Ericsson and even the popular Nokia. Presently, SIG has close to 30,000 companies under its wing. Regarding Bluetooth technology in particular, SIG monitors and regulates matters to do with upgrading, licensing and branding as regards the Bluetooth technology. The birth of the name Bluetooth is owed to the Intel engineer- Jim Kardach- who borrowed it from the ancient king of Denmark Herald Bluetooth. The king made a name for himself by playing the unifying role in Scandinavia. This unification act is what prompted Jim to use that name to mark the coming together of personal computers (PC) and companies dealing with cellular devices. The connection between these two companies therefore became the short-range wireless connectivity.
Development of Bluetooth
Bluetooth technology has made significant steps over the years and is still at it. It has been subject to developments involving design and functionality improvements and usability upgrades to ensure that users have a good experience and thrill in using the technology. From a time when the technology was only limited to PCs and cellular devices, to a time when Bluetooth is incorporated in radios, heart rate monitors and headsets, it is clear that this technology is not up for stagnation.
1) Bluetooth version 2.0
The first cellular handset to ever feature the Bluetooth technology was recorded in the year 2000. A better version was however released four years later demonstrating comfortable user experience in terms of ease and therefore saw the technology expand its territories. In 2004, Bluetooth technology version 2.0 upgraded with the incorporation of an Enhanced Data Rate technology (EDR). With this new technology, the users were experiencing better rate of data transfer to up to 3 megabits per second. This development protected devices in terms of battery life in the sense that this version of Bluetooth technology did not consume so much power; a notable difference from the previous version. With this therefore, the users could enjoy Bluetooth service comfortably.
2) Bluetooth version 2.1
This is a 2007 design which features a big improvement from the previous model. Secure Simple Pairing (SSP) is the element of change. It is helpful because now the connection between two users was not only simple but also secure in that the data transfer gets encrypted and protected specifically at the confines of the two sharing individuals. A third person can therefore not intercept whatever gets shared and therefore compromise on privacy or confidentiality of the file transfer.
The 2.1 version was also the mother of the sniff subrating feature, characteristic of battery life increment particularly to devices which are almost always not in service like the keyboard of the device. This was achieved by significantly cutting down on the active duty cycle of the Bluetooth appliances.
3) Bluetooth 3.0
This is one of the most important version upgrades in all of Bluetooth tech advancements. With this version, data transfer rate gets significantly up-scaled. At this point in the history of Bluetooth technology, data transfer rate gets multiplied by a factor of 3, to 24 megabits of transfer rate. This is possible because it is supplemented by the 802.11 Wi-Fi radios, a link that ensures that even large files can be comfortably and swiftly transferred from one device to another. Discovery as well as connection and configuration becomes therfore possible even as the data gets transferred. This is not the case for the previous versions which were even slower eleven times down. With this kind of positive step, the users were able to enjoy using the technology.
There is also the incorporation of the unicast connectionless data (UCD) in this version of Bluetooth, which is advancement meant to up-scale responsiveness. At this point, therefore, there is regulated power consumption, massive data transfer and better responsiveness making this version a step towards the future. What’s more, is that this version allowed for near field communications to top it all up.
4) Bluetooth 4.0
This version of the Bluetooth technology owes to Nokia Company who called it Wibree. Nokia’s mother company- Bluetooth SIG- however took over in the year 2010 and called Bluetooth version 4.0 the Bluetooth Smart. There is also the aspect of development of the Chip model for this Bluetooth Version. It makes it possible that both dual and single modes of data transfer can work in developing an utmost original BLE device and to carry out BLE commands on an established operating classic Bluetooth regulator (NFC).
It is designed therefore for purposes of making it possible to share data with other devices more often, and to smart devices but at the same time ensure battery life is spared. Small batteries could now be used as well as hence a more reliable way to collect information even from sensors.
This therefore paved way for Bluetooth usability in devices like thermometers and heart rate monitors and therefore user experience was expanded from entertainment devices like cell phones and PCs to health devices. A great step. The health and fitness market arena therefore made use of this provision and invested in making appliances that can monitor body temperature and matters to do with the body’s functionality and condition and then relate this information to a respective device via Bluetooth technology. This version therefore was the flagship for a higher level of connectivity, up-scaled user range and a low energy consumption protocol.
5) Bluetooth 4.1
This was a 2013 project and featured minor adjustments in the hardware category and noticeable changes in software. This version of the Bluetooth technology pioneered the foundation for the IoT devices. It is able to link devices indirectly via a cloud which would previously have been beyond range.
Another one of the elevations this version pioneered was the fact that it could work with LTE radio appliances. Poor performance as well as low battery life was one of the challenges experienced whenever previous versions of Bluetooth were used hand in hand with LTE devices. This ground breaking was therefore a long awaited change.
The Bluetooth technology version 4.1 also allows users to choose reconnection times as well as the maximum time after which disconnection takes automatic effect. This therefore gives control over power consumption for both the sender and the receiver devices.
In as much as a third party host between two devices was paramount in the preceding versions of this technology, this version is independent hence different. It is able to treat any device as though it were not only a peripheral but a hub as well hence two paired devices can link up and share without necessarily needing a host.
6) Bluetooth 4.2
This was a 2014 design to bypass barriers that challenged other models. It made it possible that devices can access the sixth version of the Internet Protocol (IP6v) to directly access the internet hence both sensors and ad smart devices could easily share information and files via the internet. This version also bears security features that make it impossible to track someone without their permission. The version also up-scales data transfer rate by almost 3 times faster than the predecessors.
7) Bluetooth 5.0
This forms the sum up of the ideas in the development and advancements of all the other versions while still maintaining its own integrity. Bluetooth technology for version 5.0 is all about maximum possible capacity of data transfer, IoT, range and most importantly, speed of transfer. The Bluetooth SIG Company adopted this project in the year 2016 with the intention of making the wireless technology usage much more worthwhile.
To achieve this, interest and focus was put towards upgrading the working of Bluetooth with the IoT. This version also presents a unique feature that links an app and a device with an additional possibility to pair devices directly across the internet.
In terms of speed of data transfer, this version is twice more fast than its predecessor. Its range of connection is also higher by a factor of 4 making it better than all the versions before it. What’s more that the maximum capacity of data that cane transferred is 8 times larger than the others. The tri-upgrades make this technology in the frontline of usability not forgetting the fact that its responsiveness is unquestionable.
In summary, the Bluetooth version 5.0 allows for a good working relationship with other wireless service providers, a very important aspect particularly in the present agile world where technology is no longer mark timing. Strides are being made on a daily basis and this calls for a proactive approach to sustaining the relevance of any given technology lest it is outsmarted. This version is therefore what the world needs. It is important to note also that version 5.0 of the Bluetooth technology allows for up to 120 meters distance of separation between the user and the sender, over which the two can comfortably share data at the same speed, same capacity of files and with just as much responsiveness and user experience as it would have been if two users were standing side by side to share data via Bluetooth technology.
It is therefore very clear that the Bluetooth technology is focused towards ensuring that users have the best experience transferring and sharing data and files. The Company proves this owing from the steps it has taken over the years to ensure that no competitor outshines what they have to offer.
How Bluetooth works
Bluetooth works by establishing a mature connection between two paired devices. Through this connection, it is able to set up packets of the files into smaller packets that it can transfer to the receiving device upon acceptance. The files from the sender are therefore made available for viewing in the other device in the same format as it was originally.
This is because this technology does not alter the data. After the transfer is complete, the packets of data are all automatically appended together into the original single unit. If the connection is interrupted, the packets of files already sent cannot be viewed because they are incomplete. The transfer should, therefore, be allowed to go to completion.
The future for Bluetooth
Bluetooth is on a journey towards an unprecedented end and with the developments over the years, it is unclear where it will end up but what is certain is that what is coming is far better than what we have already seen. With technological advancements, it will not be a shocker if we are presented with a version that bypasses the confines of both range and transfer capacity at the same speed or even better, more.
Bluetooth has come a long way with multiple upgrades that have made the experience bliss for users. This has seen the technology remain at the frontline amongst competitors in the file transfer technology. The fact that it requires no internet connection or data consumption and also that it is an inbuilt app is probably the reason why it remains the best. All the same, users are always up for upgrades and the anticipation of what the next version will bring keeps users on the lookout.