Bluetooth applications and accessories

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Bluetooth reviewsThe Bluetooth wireless protocol has been around for a number fo years now (since 1994), with various revisions and versions having been deveoped over the years.  Bluetooth is a form of wireless networking, used to connect between two or more devices.  It has generally been used to connect between mobile phones and associated devices, such as between a mobile phone and a handsfree headset or bluetooth keyboard.

The Bluetooth wireless protocol has also been integrated more recently into PC peripherals, such as wireless keyboards and mice, allowing wire-free computing.  In addition more recent games consoles have also implemented the technology into their wireless control systems to allow for a more enjoyable gaming experience, without the need for long lengths of wire to connect controllers to the specific system (PS3, Xbox360 and Wii).

Bluetooth has gone through several revisions since it's development in 1994 by Jaap Haartsen and Sven Mattisson with v1.0, v1.0B, v1.1, v1.2, v2.0 and v2.1.  Each of these revisions has made significant improvements over it's predecessor and resulted in more stable and faster connections.  The latest revision,  Bluetooth v2.1, allows for faster connections (~2.1Mbit/s) as opposed to Bluetooth v1.1 (~721 kbit/s) and higher security encryption.

Bluetooth devices can be classes into three different classes dependant upon their power and therefore range:  Class 1 (I) devices have a range of ~100 meters, Class 2 (II) devices ~10 meters, and Class 3 (III) devices ~1 meter.  The most common is Class 2(II) which is utilisedfor mobile phone and PDA devices.

The standards of Bluetooth are governed by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) that oversees the development and licensing of the Bluetooth technology to perspective manufacturers.

As the standard of the Bluetooth protocol has improved, the application of bluetooth has become more common, especially with devices such as mobile communications devices where the low power consumption of bluetooth is preferred over that of WiFi.

Bluetooth headsets
In order that users do not have to pick up or remove their phone from their pocket, manufacturers came up with the use of a bluetooth enabled headset that included a microphone and earpiece.  Bluetooth headsets allow users to answer and make call directly using the headset alone.  This application of bluetooth has further evolved in the last couple of years to include stereo bluetooth adapters, which in turn additionally allow users to listen to music stored on their phones.  The same technology has also been implemented in to hands free car kits, in order to meet stricter regulations for communications when driving.

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Bluetooth Input Peripherals
With the advent of 3G and WiFi connectivity. the use of mobile communication devices for email has increased greatly over the last few years.  The major limitation however is that the size of the mobile phones and PDAs have been decreasing, including the keypads.  Manufacturers have solved this problem by producing Bluetooth keyboards.  Bluetooth keyboards are all small form factor keyboards, similar in size to notebook keyboards.  Several forms exist, all utilising Bluetooth, including foldable keyboards, fabric keyboards and infra-red (IR) projection keyboards.

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Bluetooth GPS
Many of the more modern mobile phones and all PDAs are capable of running navigation software such as Tomtom, Nokia Maps, and Google Maps.  In order to do so though, a GPS receiver is required that can monitor its' position with accuracy.

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