Originally conceived as a wireless alternative to RS-232 data cables, Bluetooth® technology has become the global wireless standard for short-range, low-power wireless connectivity. Now, Bluetooth technology enables multiple ways to connect, from simple point-to-point to broadcasting to mesh connections, This expansion of Bluetooth innovation is accelerating new markets like smart buildings.

In 2000, when Bluetooth technology was first commercialized, around 800,000 Bluetooth enabled devices were shipping every year. Today, more than 10 million devices are shipped each day.

How It All Started

Initiated in the early 1990s, Ericsson Mobile in Lund, Sweden laid the groundwork for a short-range radio technology that would support the development of wireless headsets. Shortly thereafter, Ericsson, IBM, Intel, Nokia, and Toshiba formalized the creation of a wire replacement for communicating voice and data between instruments. To ensure the standardization and interoperability of this technology, the founding companies formed the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) in 1998.

“Bluetooth…was possibly one of the most rapid developments of a global creation standard – from idea to commercial deployment.”

Glen Collinson, Blu Wireless Technology

By the end of the first year, more than 4,000 companies had signed on as members of the Bluetooth SIG. Today, there are more than 33,000 member companies dedicated to perfecting and advancing a flexible, reliable, and secure wireless connection solution.

“Looking back, Bluetooth® was a remarkable combination of technology and world class technical marketing,” said Glen Collinson, a non-executive director of Blu Wireless Technology and co-founder of Bluetooth pioneer Cambridge Silicon Radio (CSR). “It was possibly one of the most rapid developments of a global creation standard – from idea to commercial deployment – there has ever been.

The Man Behind the Tooth

For how innovative the technology is, the name doesn’t sound techie. Bluetooth® isn’t an acronym and doesn’t stand for anything. Surprisingly, the name dates back more than a millennia to King Harald Bluetooth Gormsson who was well known for two things: Uniting Denmark and Norway in 958 and for his dead tooth, which was a dark blue/grey color and earned him the nickname Bluetooth.

In the mid-nineties, when industry leaders from Intel, Ericsson, and Nokia met to plan the standardization of this technology, Jim Kardash from Intel suggested Bluetooth as a temporary code name. Kardash was later quoted as saying, “King Harald Bluetooth…was famous for uniting Scandinavia just as we intended to unite the PC and cellular industries with a short-range wireless link.”

The name caught on fast and spread throughout the industry, becoming synonymous with short-range wireless technology.

Today, there are more than 33,000 member companies dedicated to perfecting and advancing a flexible, reliable, and secure wireless connection solution.

The Bluetooth Community

“When people think of Bluetooth®, most of the time they are thinking of Bluetooth technology,” said Mark Powell, executive director of the Bluetooth SIG. “But Bluetooth is also a community. An incredible community of member companies that are driving innovation, creating markets, and delivering life-changing value to people around the world.”

Bluetooth member companies collaborate to continually advance the technology. More than 2,300 people involved in over 15 different working groups continue to deliver new capabilities, such as recent speed, range, and broadcast data improvements added with Bluetooth 5, as well as the introduction of mesh networking, which allows tens, hundreds, or even thousands of devices to communicate with one another.

For 20 years, the Bluetooth community has created revolutionary standards and innovative products that have established global markets, shaped culture, and improved lives. After pioneering the wireless audio and connected device markets and ushering in the dawn of the global beacon revolution, the Bluetooth community is developing innovations that enabling intelligent automation across multiple emerging markets, including smart buildings, smart industry, and beyond.

Learn more about how the Bluetooth community is powering the global standard for connection and creating new markets.

How LE Audio Empowers Xiaomi to Enhance the Audio Experience

Over two decades ago, the emergence of Bluetooth® technology created the wireless audio market,…

How Bluetooth Low Energy Roll-Cage Beacons are Disrupting Postal Logistic Services

With the explosion of ecommerce and the changes in consumer behavior as a result of the COVID crisis, parcel delivery services are busier than ever before. In fact, many local, regional and even international carriers have broken one record after another in recent months.

New Core Specification v5.3 Feature Enhancements

One of the key reasons why Bluetooth® technology has emerged as the global wireless…

Bluetooth Location Services Device Growth to Trend Up Over the Next 5 Years

Best known for its innovation in audio streaming and wearable devices, Bluetooth® technology is also…

Bluetooth® Core Specification Version 5.3 Feature Enhancements

Bluetooth® Core Specification version 5.3 includes several feature enhancements with the potential to improve…

WA Notify app prevents thousands of COVID-19 cases, UW study finds

A study by researchers at the UW School of Public Health and the Washington State Department…

Sub-metre accuracy claimed for indoor Bluetooth positioning kits

U-blox is claiming sub-metre indoor accuracy with development kits for Bluetooth direction-finding and positioning.

Atmosic and Globalscale unveil lowest power Bluetooth Low Energy module

Atmosic Technologies and Globalscale Technologies are making available what is being claimed is the…

10 Resources That Showcase the Range and Reliability of Bluetooth Technology

Despite the overwhelming adoption of Bluetooth® technology across a wide range of global solutions…

Bluetooth Low Energy Innovations in Connected Vehicles That You Didn’t Know Of

The automotive industry is evolving at a fast pace. Modern automobiles are far from…

Understanding Bluetooth® Internet Gateways for IoT Solutions

Bluetooth® technology is used by nearly 40% of all Internet of Things (IoT) devices.…

Bluetooth® Technology and the Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic

Millions of people have installed smartphone applications which are designed to notify users if…

The Difference Between Classic Bluetooth and Bluetooth Low Energy

The naming conventions for Bluetooth technologies have changed over the years and still cause…

SmartShepherd Improves Scalability For Their Smart Farming IoT Applications With Cassia’s Bluetooth Gateways

Learn how SmartShepherd partnered with Cassia Networks to enable real-time tracking and monitoring of…

How to Unlock the Full Potential of Networked Lighting Control Systems

A revolution is at hand. Intelligent luminaires are expanding beyond the standard on/off and…

Secure and Accurate Distance Bounding for Bluetooth Secure Access

Are you involved in the design and development of products that rely on secure…

Evolution vs. Revolution: The Building Blocks of Automotive Body Electronics

In the past few generations of automobiles, there have been significant advancements in vehicle…

2021 Bluetooth Market Update

Supported by updated forecasts from ABI Research and insights from several other analyst firms, the Bluetooth Market Update highlights the latest Bluetooth trends and forecasts.

How Bluetooth® Technology is Enabling Safe Return Strategies in a COVID-19 Era

This report shares insight into how Bluetooth® technology is being leveraged by organizations of all sizes to…

Designing and Developing Bluetooth® Internet Gateways

Design and implement your own Bluetooth® Internet working prototype and see for yourself how BIGs allow applications to exchange data with Bluetooth devices from anywhere in the world.

Reducing the Risk of COVID-19 Transmission

Learn how Philips partnered with Cassia Networks to help fight the spread of COVID-19…

Bluetooth Market Research Note - Assistive Hearables

Bluetooth Market Research Notes provide in-depth analysis of trends and forecasts highlighted in the…

POM Tracer Ensures Workplace Safety with Contact Tracing Solutions from Laird Connectivity

POM Tracer was looking to create an easy-to-implement product that would allow businesses and…

How to Deploy BlueZ on a Raspberry Pi Board as a Bluetooth Mesh Provisioner

This step-by-step study guide will teach you: How to rebuild the kernel on a…

The Bluetooth LE Security Study Guide

Learn about fundamental security concepts, the security features of Bluetooth Low Energy, and gain some hands-on experience using those features in device code.

Bluetooth Location Services

See 8 use cases for enhancing building efficiencies and creating a better visitor experience, discover new data that supports the latest trends and forecasts, and find out what’s driving the rapid adoption of location services solutions.

Overview – Bluetooth Technology

See how the global standard for simple, secure connection has expanded to meet the…

 Get Help