Would you tell someone to turn the music down on your local train if he were playing it loudly from a huge Bluetooth speaker? This became a recent dilemma, as a passenger got a little too comfortable. Not only did he blast his music connected via Bluetooth from his phone to his stereo speaker, but he felt the need to remove his shoes and even further feel at home. This resulted in people on the train ignoring that it was happening, others looking at the passenger in disgust, and others, of course, pulling a phone out to take a picture and further publicize it.
The Bluetooth phenomenon has become one of the most pivotal inventions in all of electronics. Tracing its roots back to 1994, when Ericsson came up with the idea of replacing the tangle of RS-232 cables that were commonly used to communicate between instruments with an RF-based “wireless” alternative, the idea was soon adopted by cell phone providers such as Intel and Nokia. In order to standardize this idea, it had to be driven by a special interest group. In December of 1996, a SIG was agreed upon, and the technology began to spread worldwide.
During the meeting, the name Bluetooth was formed from Jim Kardach, who – along with his colleagues – was figuring out the best way to drive a single wireless standard in the industry in order to prevent fragmentation of technologies in his area. Kardach also shared via EETimes that the need became apparent to have a single name, due to the companies talking to others, but using different terminologies. As a result, Intel proposed the name Bluetooth, which stemmed from the 10th Century Scandinavian King, Harald Gormsson.
According to Business Insider, King Harald ruled Denmark and Norway from the year 958 until 985. Out of the many accomplishments exhibited by Harald, his greatest credited to him was uniting the two aforementioned countries. He was particularly known for his dead tooth, which had a very dark blue/gray shade. The shade became so prominent and noticed that he donned the nickname “Blatand,” which translates from Danish to “Bluetooth.” Since Harald united Scandinavia, the SIG intended to unite the personal computer and cellular phone industry.
Initially, the top two contenders for the name were RadioWire and PAN (Personal Area Networking). After an emergency meeting a week later, other companies had performed a trademark search and found that PAN came back with thousands of hits, thus being a poor choice for a name. RadioWire, on the other hand, had no trademark search done. As a result, Bluetooth was the next choice, and was chosen because they were planning on launching the product soon. The name was officially adopted in 1998, and the logo is Blatand’s initials written in Scandinavian runes.
In 2000, the first mobile phone with Bluetooth came to the market. The next year, 2001, launched the first printer, laptop, hands-free car kit, and hands-free kit with speech recognition. The year 2002 launched the first keyboard and mouse combo, GPS receiver, and digital camera. The first Bluetooth-capable MP3 player first launched in 2003, and the first stereo headphones in 2004. In 2006, the first sunglasses, watch, picture frame launched, and 2007 debuted the first alarm clock radio and television. Now, Bluetooth product shipments are over 2 billion annually.
Oh, and let’s not forget it is compatible for huge speakers as well.
[Featured Image By David Goldman/AP Images]