bluetooth technology

A Simple Guide to Bluetooth Technology

We all have been using Bluetooth in a number of different ways. From connecting smartphones to each other for sharing files to pairing our Bluetooth headsets with our mobile phones to using the wireless keyboard and mice with the computers, there are various applications for this piece of technology. But how many of us actually know about it?

Well, not many people have knowledge of this technology and here we will give you a basic walkthrough to it. For the ones looking for a more in-depth content, this article can help you out.

bluetooth technology

What is Bluetooth?

Like WiFi, Bluetooth is a wireless networking protocol. Bluetooth, like other wireless technologies, make use of the radio waves for transmitting data and receiving it. The technology is designed to assure that the compatible devices, when Bluetooth turned on, can easily and quickly connect to each other, without the help of wires. The piece of technology works both as a transmitter as well as a receiver, sending and receiving data when connected. In general, the range is 10 to 100 meters.

The best thing about Bluetooth is that it has an auto detect and connect feature. Once you have paired it with a device, it is likely to connect with it automatically when you would try to communicate between the two devices for the next time.

Bluetooth vs. WiFi

Almost all our smartphones and computers in the modern day have Bluetooth and wifi as two wireless connectivity options. Both are associated with the gadgets which are why many people get confused between the two. Some of them actually think of the two as a single thing while they are two separate pieces of technology working over diverse protocols.

WiFi is mainly developed to get rid of the Ethernet, or at least act as a wireless alternative for Ethernet. The Ethernet cable is used for making networks and transferring data between computers at a fast speed and wireless provides network developers a chance to connect the devices wirelessly. Just take the example of your laptop or even your smartphone connecting with the internet using wifi. Previously, individuals had to use cables to do such work but with WiFi, you can have a speedy transfer of data between the two devices.

On the other side, Bluetooth can also connect two devices together. However, the rate at which data would be transferred between the two computers would be considered low, making it useless for several file transfers, which hinders its application for such use. It is one of the reasons why Bluetooth is only used for connecting the PDAs to computers as it can synchronize easily. Also, the peripheral devices such as mouse and keyboard make use of this technology because they are rated as low speed which means that they do not require a lot of speed for transmission of data.

Classes of Bluetooth

A lot of people think that Bluetooth is essentially the same for all the devices and it has been developed in earlier days of technology and is still being used the same. However, there is a huge difference between the Bluetooth that was first developed and the one we are using today. Right now, we have crossed three versions, Bluetooth V1, Bluetooth V2, and Bluetooth V3, with the 4th version of Bluetooth being a standard for the modern day.

And even the standard version, Bluetooth 4, comes with 3 variants, known as the three classes. The Class 1 is highest, with devices having a range of up to 100 meters. Then there is a class 2 with a range of 30 meters while class 3 can only work within a distance of 10 meters.

And for those of you who think that Bluetooth has been developed already, the technology is still under consideration and experts are working on it to make it better for modern day use.

The two flavors of Bluetooth

If the versions and classes weren’t enough for you, the standard version of Bluetooth has two flavors which can also be seen as the two variants. These are the classic Bluetooth and low power Bluetooth.

The classic flavor is at the higher end because it is backward compatible whereas the low energy version can’t support the older versions. However, you will be glad to know that the PCs and smartphones, even the average ones, come with a support to both modes, making them dual mode Bluetooth devices. However, the sensors we use tend to come with a single mode only which is the low energy Bluetooth because it has a lesser power consumption.

Comparing the two, both models are capable of transmitting and receiving data at a range of 10 to 100 meters (which essentially depends on the class). The classic version supports voice capability which means that it is preferred for headsets while the low power does not support any such feature. Comparing the power consumption, if we rate the classic Bluetooth at 100, the low power only takes between 1 and 5, depending on how you are using it. Also, both devices work on the same protocols and operate over scatternet network topology.

Common versions

Although the 4.0 is the standard version, others are still common. For instance, you may see a device working with Bluetooth V1.2, supporting the data rates of up to 1 Mbps. Then there is v2.1 with EDR, enhanced data rate, that adds up to its speed and has transmission potential of 3 Mbps. Moreover, the v3.0 with HS that has a base speed of 3 Mbps and the HS make connection establishment over Bluetooth chip while the transmission takes place over the wifi connection, taking the speed at up to 24 Mbps.

Uses of Bluetooth

There are a number of applications for Bluetooth in modern era. For instance, we have listed computers and smartphones that use it in a number of different ways. We can connect devices to each other for sending and receiving data. Use it between two smartphones and you will be able to transfer files between the two wirelessly. Attach the wireless keyboards and mice to your computers and you can use them as you like.

Even the home devices and vehicles come with Bluetooth enabled. There are countless things in your home, including the alarms that you have for safety and security, the electronics you possess, and even the lights, all can be controlled with the help of a Bluetooth.

Consumer electronics such as televisions, cameras, speakers, and even headsets, all are coming with the Bluetooth chip in them, enabling the devices to send and receive data wirelessly.

Final Words:

The Bluetooth device comes with a number of different applications and is one of the versatile pieces of technology that is commonly being used and actively developed. To make it work, you have to assure that the two devices between which you are trying to send and receive data have Bluetooth component enabled. Although it transmits data at a rate which might not be very pleasing, still the fact that it is more than sufficient to send most of the files and communicate between the devices make it a preferred choice for many transmissions.

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