Is Bluetooth Taking Over the World?
The History of Bluetooth
Bluetooth technology was created in the late 90s when companies were coming up with ways to eliminate cords and make products operate together wirelessly. In the early 2000s, a special interest group was formed that was devoted to Bluetooth technology which is now the Bluetooth SIG.
To be able to use Bluetooth technology in your products, you need to become a member of the Bluetooth SIG. After that, you will have access to the technology and obtain a license to use the Bluetooth trademark.
The current standard for Bluetooth is version 4.2. Bluetooth 5 should be available in the coming year and will add more IoT functionalities, including range, speed, and beacons (location activation).
Where Can You Find Bluetooth?
With over 3 billion Bluetooth products on the market, chances are you tripped over one between brushing your teeth and drinking a cup of coffee. Bluetooth technology is everywhere from smartphones and tablets, speakers and headphones, and sports and fitness devices and other wearable technology. Increasingly, people looking to live a healthier life are incorporating wearable technology to help them achieve their goals. The sharing and monitoring of these devices allow the users to share the content with themselves across multiple platforms as well as with their healthcare providers.
IoT, smart home, and smart industrial applications are continuing to join the market in an exciting way. Imagine Bluetooth in a light switch that talks to the light bulb to tell it when to turn on or off. Then that same smart light switch is connected to the door lock so that when the front door is opened, the light switch knows to tell the light bulb to turn on and illuminate the room.
Is There Too Much Bluetooth?
Will your Bluetooth stop working if you have multiple devices in the same room? Fortunately, that has not become a concern. Bluetooth uses adaptive frequency hopping, which allows the device to switch frequencies to continue to operate at optimal levels. This also helps if more than one Bluetooth device enters a space. By hopping to another frequency, the devices will not collide on the same frequency.
The pairing of Bluetooth devices, as well as management of them, will become easier as new technology developments are released. Consider what Apple did by cutting the cord on their headphones—this will help encourage other companies to come up with similar innovative solutions for their products. However, cutting the cord is not as simple as it sounds. Innovators need to consider how the power will be consumed, how much data the device will send, and how the audio will be transferred and at what quality. Improving these capabilities and others will help devices become more intelligent.
Is Bluetooth Secure?
The current Bluetooth standard, 4.2, is government grade. The market chooses the appropriate level of security that goes into products. Taking that into consideration, the $10 Bluetooth speakers you picked up at the checkout counter probably are not as secure as the $300 speakers. Chances are, the audio is not as good either. If security is a concern, you can look at the specifications list for the product. Purchase the products that include the most secure version of Bluetooth technology to meet your security needs.