Bluetooth technology advantages features and application

Bluetooth technology is a short-range wireless communication that was designed for portable electronic devices. It covers a distance range of about 10 Meters.

The main features of Bluetooth are a wireless connection, plug-and-play, and low power consumption among others. It is a very convenient wireless connection that doesn’t requires a direct line of sight to communicate. However, they are slow to transfer huge data and they can have frequency interference and are short-range signals.

How Bluetooth works

To connect and use the technology the 2 devices must have Bluetooth capability and they are enabled. When Bluetooth is ON the devices try to discover other devices within the range to connect to.

The names of the available devices will be displayed for the user to select the preferred device. Once selected the user will have to enter a pairing code to authenticate the connection for security.

Once the device has been authenticated the connection is complete and the device can be used for data transfer. When the device moves out of range it disconnects automatically. 

When 2 devices that were connected previously come within the range and Bluetooth is enabled they connect automatically. For security reasons, you can forget the connection once used to avoid a security breach.

Features of Bluetooth technology

  1. Wireless connection: the technology connects the device wirelessly to each other.
  2. Backward compatibility: this means that even the latest device with Bluetooth technology can still connect to old devices without problems.
  3. Low power consumption: since the technology was meant for portable devices that use battery power, they were designed to consume less power.
  4. Use Frequency hopping techniques to avoid more congested channels when transmitting data.
  5. It uses short-range radio frequency.
  6. Most Bluetooth devices are plug-and-play.

Advantages of Bluetooth technology

  1. They don’t require a direct line of sight. Since Bluetooth uses radio frequency it can penetrate walls and doesn’t require a direct line of sight to operate, unlike infrared.
  2. Compatible with different variety of devices with Bluetooth features. A device with the technology capability can connect to another even if they are not of the same class. An example, a mobile phone can connect to a printer, car stereo, Bluetooth speaker headphones, etc.
  3. Quick data transfer. For small quantities of data, they can be transferred very fast.
  4. To avoid data collision on the congested frequency it uses the Frequency-hopping spread spectrum (FHSS) technique. This improves on it reliability.
  5. Bluetooth technology is very convenient since you don’t need cables to connect.
  6. Data transferred over is secured and to connect user will require to accept the connection request.
  7. The procedure to pair 2 devices is simple and straightforward. Devices can also remember the connection and automatically reconnect the devices when they are within the range.
  8. Most Bluetooth devices are plug-and-play devices.

Disadvantages of Bluetooth

  1. The technology has a limited coverage of about 10 Meters.
  2. Compared to other technology its data transfer rate is very low especially when transferring a huge data.
  3. Bluetooth uses 2.4GHZ frequency which is used by many other devices hence frequency interference.
  4. If the device is not secure enough it is still vulnerable to security threats.

Bluetooth application examples

  1. Headset 
  2. Car Stereo
  3. Smartphones 
  4. Wireless mouse and keyboard
  5. MP3 players
  6. Smartwatches 
  7. Printers 
  8. CCTV cameras
  9. Music systems
  10. GPS devices

Bluetooth technology History and standards.

The concept of short-range wireless communication was developed first by Ericsson mobile company. Later other mobile manufacturing companies joined to create devices that can use compatible devices. 

Today there is a Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) that oversees the Bluetooth standards that are being developed and used.

Some of the main specifications and Bluetooth standards are:

Bluetooth VersionFeatures Year ratified and adopted
1.1Received Signal Strength Indicator2002
1.2Higher transmission speeds
Faster Connection and Discovery 
2.0 +EDREnhanced Data Rate (EDR)2005
2.1 +EDRSecure Simple Pairing (SSP)2007
3.0 +HSAlternative MAC/PHY
Unicast Connectionless
DataEnhanced Power Control
4.0Software updates improve consumer usability2010
4.1Software updates
Improve consumer usability
4.2Internet of Things (IoT)
Low Energy Secure Connection
Link Layer Privacy Internet
Protocol Support Profile (IPSP)
5.0Slot Availability Mask (SAM)
2 Mbit/s PHY for LE
LE Long Range
5.1Angle of Arrival (AoA)
Angle of Departure (AoD)
Advertising Channel Index
5.2Enhanced Attribute Protocol (EATT)
LE Power Control
LE Isochronous Channels
5.3Connection Subrating
Periodic Advertisement Interval
5.4Periodic Advertising with Responses (PAwR)
Encrypted Advertising Data

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