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  • Bluetooth Basics Part 4

    While the low power of Bluetooth technology prevents it from interfering with other technologies on the same frequency, it also limits the range of Bluetooth to approximately 32 feet (10 meters). A benefit that counteracts that flaw is that these signals, though weak, can travel through walls. So you can continue your phone conversation as you walk through the house.
  • Bluetooth Basics Part 3

    Bluetooth is preferred to infrared technology, for mobile wireless communication, because infrared is a “line of sight” technology. Line of sight means that one device has to point the infrared signal directly at the other, for the signal to be received. An example is the TV remote, which uses infrared signals to direct the operations of the TV.
  • Bluetooth Basics Part 2

    Bluetooth was invented for the purpose of wireless small area networking. It operates using very little power, increasing reliability and providing more time between charges or battery replacement.
  • Bluetooth Basics Part 1

    The inventor of the original computer may never have imagined the importance and variety of functions of the computer today. It is remarkable how many electronic devices now operate in conjunction with the computer.
  • Bluetooth Remotes

    Bluetooth is a modern technology that involves the use of a proprietary open wireless technology standard. This technology is used for transferring data over short distances. The waves used for Bluetooth technology are actually short wave radio signals in the 2400 to 2480 MHz (megahertz) range.

    However, Bluetooth does not just use simple radio waves. Instead, it uses frequency-hopping spread spectrum, a technology that actually breaks up the data being sent, transferring it in pieces or small groups of information, on 79 bands covering the aforementioned range. The range is a 2.4 GHz (gigahertz) frequency band that has been globally set apart for Industrial, Scientific, and Medical (ISM) uses, called the ISM band.

    Ericsson, a telecoms vendor, developed Bluetooth technology in 1994 for replacing RS-232 cable technology. Bluetooth technology can work with several devices together, effectively synchronizing these devices.

    The name for Bluetooth technology has an interesting background. The Blåtand/Blåtann was an epithet of King Harold I of Denmark, who brought together quarrelsome Danish tribes into one united kingdom. Bluetooth is the English version of the name Blåtand/Blåtann. Because Bluetooth technology unifies previously unsynchronized devices, it was named after the tale of this king.

    The Bluetooth Special Interest Group is charged with managing Bluetooth technology and its member companies, over 4,000 in total. This group sets the standards, manages qualifications for Bluetooth use, and protects the trademarks used in the technology.

    In order to utilize Bluetooth technology, a device has to be able to interpret Bluetooth profiles. These profiles define available applications and general behaviors used to carry communication between two Bluetooth devices. These profiles also define parameters for communication.

    When manufacturers program Bluetooth devices in adherence to these profiles, it helps the consumer in being able to plug-n-play, without having to do any high-tech programming to synchronize devices. There are numerous profiles for different applications of Bluetooth technology.

    The way a Bluetooth remote works is the remote is a master device. The master may have seven slaves, or seven devices it can synchronize and control. This group of unified devices is referred to as a piconet. The master transmits beginning in even slots while the slave always begins in odd slots.

    Without getting too deep into the technical side, slots are the types of packets (chunks of data) used to communicate between devices. The master has a clock that sets the timing with which each of these packets transmit information.

    One of the benefits of Bluetooth technology includes the fact that it replaces wired technology, allowing for free communication without a physical connection. In addition, it is relatively affordable with a low-cost microchip in each device.

    With radio waves, Bluetooth has the added benefit of not requiring line-of-sight to transmit commands. That being said, however, there still must be a relatively open path between transceivers. These benefits make Bluetooth useful for application with various devices like video game remotes and consoles.

    An infrared remote would be a major hindrance in playing video games, because every time the individual moves the remote out of the direct line of sight, the signal would be lost. With Bluetooth technology, the remote can be moved all around the area in front of the console, making for easy movement and a lot more fun in gaming.

    In addition to mobile phone headsets, modems, faxes, the iPod Touch, and other technological uses for Bluetooth, the technology is popular in remotes for the PlayStation 3, Lego Mindstorms NXT, and the Nintendo Wii.

    Perhaps the Nintendo Wii best capitalized on the capabilities of Bluetooth technology because the user is able to swing the remote in a baseball game, steer the remote in a car racing game, and even row it like oars for a canoeing game, all without ever losing the signal connection between the remote and the receiver.

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