Types of Bluetooth Technology

By Joseph Eitel

It seems like where ever you turn some new product features Bluetooth technology, but what does that mean? Basically, Bluetooth is a high-speed, low-power wireless link that was originally designed to connect phones, laptops and other similar equipment with no hassle caused to the consumer. Bluetooth is also the name of the short-range radio frequency (RF) technology used to wirelessly transmit voice and data.

The Facts

There is currently an overwhelming number of ways that people can wirelessly connect. There is Wi-Fi, 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, GPRS, IrDA and Bluetooth. These of course are just some of the terms used to describe various forms of wireless connectivity. Different types of wireless connectivity might be more useful to you depending on your specific needs, but Bluetooth in its many different forms usually delivers whatever users require, such as wireless music transmissions and making wireless cell phone calls.

Function

Bluetooth technology functions as a 10-meter personal bubble that supports the simultaneous transmission of both voice and data information for more than one device. As a matter of fact, up to eight data devices can be connected in a single piconet, with up to 10 piconets existing within the 10-meter bubble. Not only that, but each piconet also supports up to three simultaneous full duplex voice devices.

Types

There are many types of Bluetooth technologies out there, all of which help users stay connected without actually having to be connected. Types of Bluetooth devices include dongles, headsets, radios, and PC cards, among other products. Stereo headphones are becoming increasingly popular as a wireless Bluetooth option that can be used with iPods, music phones or other MP3 players. Also, laptop's and other small Internet-enabled devices are offering accessories that utilize Bluetooth technology for wireless functionality, such as in wireless keyboards and mice.

Features

Bluetooth technology features a specific class that dictates the range at which the device can still connect. For example, most personal computing devices feature Class 3 Bluetooth technology, which means they have a short 30 ft range. While high-powered Class 1 devices, on the other hand, have the longest range at about 300 feet. Class 2 falls somewhere in between the two.

Benefits

There are many benefits to utilizing Bluetooth technology. For example, Bluetooth dongles enable consumers to simply plug their dongle into an Internet-enabled personal computer. This allows them to wirelessly check email, download Windows updates or transfer files, among other tasks. Bluetooth headsets may offer the most benefits because they allow us to use our cell phones hands-free, which is especially useful now that many states have passed laws that make it illegal to talk on your cell and drive at the same time.