Bluetooth in the beginning
When Bluetooth was first conceptualized, it was meant to serve as a connection between various distinct devices; which means two devices that would normally not be able to interface with each could through the use of Bluetooth. An example often quoted at the time was to make the refrigerator speak to a personal digital assistant. How this would have been useful was left in the realm of imagination. However, Bluetooth did come about, and it did manage to connect many devices together wirelessly and without the restriction of line-of-sight, like its predecessor, the infrared technology.
Of all the potential devices that Bluetooth was supposed to be incorporated in, only the mobile phone and the computer have actually had it. In fact, Bluetooth in computers and laptops is decidedly on the wane as well, as people are resorting to dongles to add the functionality. It is rarely an important prerequisite. The case is entirely different for phones of course, as Bluetooth has to a large extent become a method of transferring data without the mess of cables and the charges of network services.
It eventually accomplished what it set out to do – connect devices without the need of protocols, settings, proxies, drivers or any of the myriad other painstaking mechanisms that existed. Bluetooth is synonymous with easy and instantaneous transfer over short distances.
Off to a rocky start initially, Bluetooth-enabled devices faced exactly the sort of problems it was meant to eradicate; that is, interoperability. The first release had many bugs, which thereafter were ironed out in the second release.
2004 saw the release of Bluetooth 2.0 which quickly proved to be a much improved version of the technology. After it gained widespread popularity, more and more people started using it, inventing functions and starting trends centred on the technology. As the technology became more prolific, there were the attempts to manipulate Bluetooth to gain unauthorized access to data stored on mobile phones. The very fact of this misuse of technology perhaps is the best indicator of Bluetooth’s widespread use.
Over the horizon – Bluetooth 3.0
The next release of the technology is imminent; the new release has been codenamed ‘Seattle’ for now, and is expected, albeit not certainly, to be version 3.0. It will have a host of new features, some of which are rumoured to be as follows:
It will be much faster than its predecessors, supposedly being able to transfer files at a phenomenal rate of 60 Mb at close quarters, and 12.5 Mb at the limits of the 10-meter range.
Perhaps as a direct result of the increased speed, streaming audio and visual content seamlessly and without breaks will then become entirely possible.
Additionally, Bluetooth was until this point, operating in the 2.4 GHz range, where interference from wireless networks was a distinct possibility. Interference could and did disrupt the fidelity of the transferring data, therefore the new version will operate in the 6-9 GHz range. Operating within this range will completely eliminate even the possibility of interference.
However, the best part of the latest release is that it is completely backward-compatible, meaning all old devices will still be able to interface with the new standard without any syncing problems – which essentially sticks to the original concept of Bluetooth, and why it came about.