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Bluetooth Technology
Lou Costa

Bluetooth is interesting because it is now possible to connect many devices that normally might not connect wirelessly. And it requires very little user input.

All the rage lately is the cell phone headpieces that use Bluetooth technology. These are the little wireless hands-free units that people use in their cars and even while walking down the street. But, what is Bluetooth and how do these devices work?

Bluetooth is a technology standard that allows devices to connect wirelessly. This is interesting because it is now possible to connect many devices that normally might not connect wirelessly. And it requires very little user input. That means you don’t need to know how to do anything, just put in the batteries and the stuff works.

There is a group called the Bluetooth Special Interest Group and over one thousand companies belong to this group. Their job is to agree upon the rules by which these devices connect and make our lives easier. By making a set of rules (like the protocols that allow us to connect computers to the Internet), there is a standard that all manufacturers adhere to and this makes interconnecting devices simple. Bluetooth makes it easy to connect things like your Palm Pilot, laptop, or tablet PC to a wireless network without you needing to configure anything.

Other Bluetooth connections that work are the new hands-free cell phone earpieces. These are great. Basically, you can take the earpiece right out of the box and put in the batteries. Once you turn on your cell phone, the two devices begin communicating (this assumes you have a Bluetooth enabled cell phone, and not all phones are Bluetooth enabled).

Bluetooth.

Once they establish some basics, the earpiece becomes an extension of the phone and you can leave the phone on your hip or even in your backpack or briefcase (up to 30 feet away) while the wireless earpiece sits on your ear. You can receive calls, switch calls, and (with some) let you make calls with voice-activation and redial. Again, you don’t need to do anything to get the devices to connect. Your Bluetooth headset will not interfere with other phones because your phone and the headset establish a sort of personal channel that they will use for all communications. That communication is specific to only those two devices and it works almost like a cell phone. You do not hear other people’s Bluetooth conversations the same way you do not hear their cell phone calls while using your phone.

Bluetooth technology is incredible and it will make our lives easier and easier. Picture a day when you can plug in your television set, cable box, stereo system, Xbox, and DVD player without ever needing to connect them to each other. They will automatically find each other and connect perfectly. This is the future of Bluetooth technology and I look forward to it.