Introduction:Bluetooth is a wireless technology standard that uses short-wave radio transmission (2400-2480 MHz) and allows for the exchange of data over small distances. Bluetooth technology allows for the exchange of data, voice and other information between multiple electronic devices that are close to each other. While Bluetooth cannot currently replace the wireless network in the home it allows for a wider variety of functionality. Some examples of the use of Bluetooth are: hands-free earphones or earpieces for cell phones; Bluetooth printers that can be used by multiple devices including PCs, smart phones, tablets etc.; with the increasing power of the smart phone Bluetooth is now being used to control TVs, DVDs and even home security systems. Bluetooth is flexible and powerful and will revolutionize the home and office. Whether Bluetooth simply helps remove the clutter of wires required for the computer and the multi-media entertainment centers or more importantly becomes the underlying technology used to allow the home, office, car etc. to integrate and communicate seamlessly it seems that Bluetooth is becoming more common in every day devices. This article covers the basics of Bluetooth technology and its current and potential uses: Bluetooth basics Bluetooth is becoming a common element of many devices in the home and car and it’s important that you understand the basics of the technology: • Each device will have varying capabilities. Some devices such as older cell phones will have very basic functionality such as being able to make phone calls using a wireless headset. Modern smart phones have expanded on this by adding applications that will allow you to send messages, control other devices, share files and data and much more. Knowing what your Bluetooth device can do is therefore a very important element of understanding the technology. • Understanding how to pair a device is also very important. Just like a home network, you have to ensure that your device is connected to compatible devices. This process is called pairing – basically this involves following a few steps so that both devices are able to identify each other and will recognize each other when in range. • Security is perhaps one of the most important aspects of any wireless technology and it’s very important to understand the implications of leaving your Bluetooth devices unprotected. Bluetooth comes with some security such as creating ‘trusted-devices’ – this gives the user the option to deny any unknown device from connected to their device. Criminals will often use a process known as bluejacking to try and connect to your device and steal your information – this involves sending a message to your device – often you may not realize it is a ‘phishing’ type message and effectively accept a connection without realizing it. Like any secured system you have to be aware that some people will try and steal your information and will use subtle techniques to trick you.
Uses for Bluetooth technology • Transferring files – Bluetooth allows devices to send and receive files from each other. Predominantly used for sharing documents and photographs the technology is often used as a social sharing tool; modern Laptops allow for Bluetooth transfer of photographs removing the need for a USB cable. • Hands free headsets – the ability to connect a phone or other device to a Bluetooth headset allows the user to have their hands free. This is very important within the car with Bluetooth allowing drivers to use their cell phones safely. • Computer peripherals – modern keyboard and other computer peripherals are using Bluetooth to remove the need of having cables. Not only does this remove clutter but it also frees up some of the USB ports as often only one ‘input’ is required for several compatible peripherals. • Multi-media – the use of Bluetooth for entertainment purposes has grown. With surround sound speakers using the technology removing the need for wires and smart phones utilizing it with applications that can control the TV, DVD, gaming console etc, the living room is becoming far more interactive. • House control – the combination of the smart phone and Bluetooth is leading to technologies that can control your home systems such as lighting, security systems, TVs etc. • Car – not only is Bluetooth being used within the car but it is also helping to provide remote start and entry in modern cars.
Conclusion Will Bluetooth replace the wireless network? The modern wireless network that uses Wi-Fi technology is always modernizing. With new Wi-Fi capabilities that are similar to Bluetooth it’s probably going to be around for a while. Bluetooth will not replace the common Wi-Fi but will probably integrate more closely with it to enhance and compliment it.