Bluetooth Technology has revolutionized the way computers will communicate with each other. "It is not just a question of connecting to the other side of the globe. It is as much a question of connecting to the other side of the room" (Ericsson Bluetooth, 10/4/99). The basis behind Bluetooth is to allow wireless communication between two entities without the hassle of connecting wires. Cellular phones will be able to send e-mail to your computer when you become within ten meters of the computer automatically is the concept of Bluetooth Technology. With high aspirations for Bluetooth, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) realizes there are other factors for making this technology establish worldwide acceptance.
There are different reasons behind using Bluetooth for future considerations. There is also question on why to use Bluetooth in the first place. The problems foreseen with Bluetooth are cost, privacy, accessibility, security, and future. Future aspirations for Bluetooth are insurmountable because of the acceptance it has received from many big companies. Concerns dealing the privacy are whether or not transmissions will be secure. Security on transmissions has been questionable since the evolution of Bluetooth. Each of these has been considered by the SIG, and is administered according to the importance by the SIG.
Importance of Bluetooth
Business solutions can be one of the most important reasons why Bluetooth will take off so well in the business market. The ability to check e-mail without the hassle of connecting wires will be second nature. Printing from across the room with out having to plug in a cable. All of these simple solutions will help businesses perform at higher quality. There is no limit to what Bluetooth can help the average business with. "Bluetooth also appears to be a win-win for the communications industry" (Article: Bluetooth, 10/13/99). As long as both your PC and cellular phone have Bluetooth technology inside them, they can "talk" continuously. Bluetooth’s SIG hopes that eventually all technology will have Bluetooth built within automatically. Imagine receiving e-mail when your computer isn’t even on, with Bluetooth this is possible. When leaving voice mail on a cell phone, it automatically sends it to your PC for e-mail availability also. Bluetooth allows for easy access to any or all of your electronic devices that can send or retrieve data. Other items involve printers, keyboards, mouse’s, and fax machines can all work with Bluetooth. Bluetooth eliminates the repetitiveness of hooking up cables every time you wish to print a document.
"The success of this technology will depend upon the vendors’ widespread adoption as well as product availability" (PC Magazine, 10/4/99). Widespread adoption of Bluetooth will eventually determine whether or not it becomes global. Already able to be used globally in devices, the Bluetooth marketing strategy will foresee if it becomes a worldwide phenomenon. Bluetooth will allow other countries to have the same business success that the United States will have if Bluetooth is incorporated properly in the business world. Proper knowledge of Bluetooth is essential for both global and national recognition.
The importance within the business atmosphere for Bluetooth is to eliminate delay times. Time constraints for hooking up laptops or other devices. On the run business, which can be categorized as not being within an office atmosphere, can be easier with Bluetooth. Bluetooth will allow the individual less setup time when needing to print items. Checking e-mail from your voice mail is another business advantage.
E-commerce will be indefinitely a plus with Bluetooth. Buying and selling of stock prices while out of the office. "Bluetooth is designed to wirelessly connect disparate devices. While early applications will be cable replacement, Bluetooth can also link e-wallet to POS terminals for payment using e-cash" (Bluetooth: The Missing, 10/4/99). At the touch of a button things can change, with Bluetooth this is possible anywhere you are. E-commerce will definitely benefit from Bluetooth further in the future.
Information on why Bluetooth was developed, how it got the name, competing technologies, and understanding how it works are now discussed. Bluetooth is the creation of companies working together for wireless communication. Tenth century Denmark history is where the term Bluetooth was originated. This section will encompass competing technologies and why they may become extinct when Bluetooth becomes the new standard for businesses. Understanding the basic areas of Bluetooth will be covered in minor detail during this section.
Bluetooth was first introduced in May of 1998 as a result of several companies working together to provide a solution for wireless access to computing devices (Option announces, 10/4/99). The five companies instrumental in the development of Bluetooth are as follows: Ericsson, IBM, Intel, Nokia, and Toshiba. Each company helped developed Bluetooth into the product it is today. Ericsson was instrumental in developing the Special Interest Group (SIG). Since its inception in 1998, there are more than a thousand companies involved with the SIG. "By signing zero-cost agreements, members qualify to royalty-free license to build products based on the Bluetooth technology…" (Ericsson Bluetooth, 10/4/99).
The codename Bluetooth traces back to tenth century Denmark. Harold Bluetooth, King of Denmark, was filled with Christianity from his mother from an early age (Catholic Encyclopedia, 10/12/99). With the loss of his father, Harold inherited rule over Denmark. In a time of war and destruction, Harold found himself in charge of rebuilding the churches and belief of Christianity throughout Denmark. In doing so, Harold Bluetooth, was "credited with uniting the provinces of Denmark under a single crown" (PC Magazine, 10/4/99). Just like how Bluetooth technology unites different computerized devices to one standard, Harold joined a country on a belief. This is where the codename Bluetooth comes from.
With every new technology there has been as such an existing technology that the new technology could replace. There are only a couple competing technologies with Bluetooth, however the are only competing technologies cause they act as the only means possible. Cables running from device to device is the way things are done now. There will always be a use for cables so devices can be connected. Limited by length of cable, this can be a hassle. A framework on how to setup your equipment so everything is essentially working properly can be a hassle also. Cables are the normal standardized way of connecting one item to another. Cables do not require the entities to be in the same room nor facing each other.
Infrared has become more popular with computers. This allows a computer to send data to a printer without the hassle of hooking up cables. The negatives to using infrared ports are line of sight and range. Range for most infrared ports is around three feet. Bluetooth can reach up to ten meters or forty feet. This range can be extended up to 100 meters with an optional amplifier. Line of sight is the concept of having both infrared ports, both receiving and sending, facing each other for the signal to be transferred correctly. With Bluetooth, "connections are instant and they are maintained even when not within line of sight" (Ericsson Bluetooth, 10/4/99). Bluetooth allows for interference such as walls, doors, etc. Infrared can not transfer data from one entity to another in a different form. Infrared does not take in consideration the transmission of data from one point to another like in the example of voice mail to e-mail when using Bluetooth. Infrared is mainly used for connecting PCs and printers.
Understanding Bluetooth Properties
Bluetooth is the specification for small form factor, low-cost, short range radio links between mobile PC’s, phones, and other portable devices (TDK Systems, 10/4/99). From its cable replacement to radio link and data transfer times, Bluetooth is actually simple to understand. Bluetooth is comprised of a 9x9 mm chip that is inserted two different devices so that they can communicate with each other. Bluetooth uses the frequency band of 2.45 GHz. This band is available globally with exceptions in a few different countries. The fact that this frequency band is free and unregulated precedes the availability of global expectations by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The range in comparison with its competitors can reach ten meters or forty feet. Bluetooth can be outfitted to make longer connection distances if desired. "Designed to operate in a noisy radio frequency environment, the Bluetooth radio uses fast acknowledgement and frequency hopping schemes to make the link robust" (Bluetooth – Document, 10/4/99). This allows the signal to stay constant and clear. Bluetooth contains a maximum of three voice channels and seven data channels per piconet. Security has been administered at the link layer (Bluetooth Architecture, 10/12/99). "Each link is encoded and protected against both eavesdropping and interference, Bluetooth can be considered a secure short-range wireless network" (Article: Bluetooth, 10/13/99). One of the main advantages with using Bluetooth is that it provides a universal bridge to existing networks. Installation of Bluetooth has grown from only your PC and mobile phone to many others, like fax machines, keyboards, a mouse, and joysticks.
Obtaining the proper information or research was done in a series of steps. The first step in retrieving data is knowing where you need to look to obtain that data. The second step involved is having proper terms available to do searches. The Internet serves as one of the best ways to obtain information for an emerging technology. In a way the Internet is still emerging cause more and more people are using it for the first time each day. Finding the information on the Internet contains a process of elimination and frustration. Looking for the individual site that you need does not always come to your fingertips.
The Internet would be the easiest place to start when wanting to get information on a product. The World Wide Web has grown to be the world’s best encyclopedia. After determining how I was going to conduct my research, I first had to find keywords to use in the search engines. I choose to use Internet Explorer, the Universities default browser to conduct my research. I choose to use Lycos as my search engine. There was no formal reasoning why I choose Lycos for that purpose. I did a search mainly on Bluetooth Technology. Immediately I had plenty of sites to choose from. I would say there were around twenty-five different sites that were available to my discretion. I simply scrolled down the list of web sites to choose my first site. Each site I had encountered had a link back to the main home page of Bluetooth. Ericsson was instrumental in developing the Bluetooth homepage. This allowed me to investigate the main page before continuing on with the other pages that were listed from my search. I choose simply to print off those pages that correlated with Bluetooth in one way or another. I read some of the pages carefully, while others I just simply hit print.
I also choose to do a search with Excite. Excite gave me many of the same sites that I had already received from using Lycos. There were a few more sites that were included in Excite and not Lycos. Again with the sites I found using Lycos, I choose to look further by using reference pages or links that were linked from the page I was currently looking at. Links are one of the best ways to get more information on the same subject. Each page had a link to a page I had already seen or not seen, but all had a link to Bluetooth’s main page developed by the SIG. Bluetooths main page had examples of different types of technologies used with Bluetooth. The page also had many updated articles written about Bluetooth as well as press releases that any communications or computer related companies had released. All information on the attributes of Bluetooth was collected using the Internet search engines.
The history of Bluetooth was accessible through a fraternity brother, Brian Lahr. A computer guru himself, I asked if he had ever heard of where the Bluetooth terminology came from. Brian led me to the idea of doing a search on Denmark’s history. Brain stated he read in a magazine how Bluetooth came from the idea of a king that united the provinces of his country as Bluetooth technology unites the idea of communications. I choose Internet Explorer again to conduct my research. Instead of using Lycos or Excite, I choose Alta Vista as my search engine. There was no reasoning behind choosing Alta Vista besides the fact it was something new to me. I had trouble coming up with the proper keywords to get the information I was in need of. I choose to use keywords "Denmark History and Bluetooth". Before, I was using the same words but in reverse order which was bringing me no luck. I decided to change the words around so that Denmark History would be the keyword for the search. The search responded with about twenty hits. Of these twenty hits only about two were of use for my cause. All the other sites had little tidbits about Harold Bluetooth but not the information I was in search of.
The analysis I used in selecting the sources needed for the project was simple. Quantity not quality was the key to my success. I ended up printing out around twenty-five to thirty different sources for this project. I only used around nine or ten sources. Eliminating sources was due to the fact of repetition in the report for Bluetooth.
The findings about Bluetooth give detailed accounts on how this technology functions. These functions range from its hopping scheme to its use of an unlicensed ISM band. Bluetooth allows not only cellular and PCs to communicate but can also work in a small local area network also. Issues associated with the implementation of Bluetooth in all digital devices will be addressed. The future of Bluetooth lies within those associated with the SIG.
Explanation of Bluetooth
"It is based on a low-cost short-range radio link, built into a 9x9 mm microchip, facilitating protected ad hoc connections for stationary and mobile communication environments (Bluetooth, 10/4/99). Bluetooth allows for a universal bridge to existing data networks also. The technology is designed to operate in a noisy atmosphere. Its radio modules avoid interference from other signals by jumping to a different frequency after transmitting packets. Bluetooth hops or jumps faster and uses shorter packets which makes the signal more robust. Bluetooth uses the unlicensed Industrial, Scientific, and Medical (ISM) band of 2.45 GHz. Bluetooth is designed to switch among 79 channels in this band at 1,600 hops per second. The rate at which data is transmitted and received is 1 Mb/s. The Bluetooth baseband protocol is a combination of circuit and packet switching. Each packet is transmitted in a different hop frequency. "Bluetooth can support an asynchronous data channel, up to three simultaneous synchronous voice channels, or a channel which simultaneously supports asynchronous data and synchronous voice (Bluetooth, 10/4/99). Using 0-bit, 40-bit or 64-bit encryption, Bluetooth is secure enough for nonsensitive information. Any extra encryption needed would be in cases of using e-cash and financial transactions.
Bluetooth also works well within a piconet, however there are few hints to making your piconet more efficient. A piconet would be a collection of devices connected by Bluetooth in an ad hoc fashion. There would be only one master device and all other devices within the piconet would act as slaves. Bluetooth can handle up to ten piconets, each handling eight devices (Bluetooth, The 10/4/99). Bluetooth can handle more than ten piconets but any more than ten eliminates throughput time for the user. Each piconet in a series of piconets will hop in a different frequency sequence. This is so none of the piconets will get crossed and data will be altered The topology can be best categorized as a multiple piconet structure (Bluetooth, 10/4/99).
Link Manager (LM) is the software that carries out link configuration, setup, and authentication. Link Manager discovers other LM’s and communicates with them via the LM Protocol. Properties of the Link Manager are sending and receiving data, link address inquiries, connection set-up, and authentication.
Bluetooth has to receive the overwhelming support of all digital and computerized manufacturers to become a basic unit in a production process. Acceptance by those companies outside the SIG will hold back the implementation of Bluetooth in all devices in the future. For Bluetooth to be successful in the market there will have to be a need for services capable of Bluetooth applications. Cellular phones and personal PCs will need to be built exclusively for the purpose of demonstrating how this technology works. Ericsson has begun developing devices for the sole purpose of exploiting Bluetooth into the market. Other companies involved in the SIG need to be doing the same for this technology to have worldwide acceptance. Another issue dealing with Bluetooth is its health risks for transmitting. It is below the power permitted by nontransmitting devices, therefore there would be no health risks at all.
Bluetooth technology will eventually sky rocket into the next millennium. By 2004, 75 percent of all mobile devices will support Bluetooth (Bluetooth, The 10/4/99). The main advantage of Bluetooth is that vendors can build it into their devices. With a low cost to consumers, Bluetooth seems like a logical answer to wireless communication. The fast hopping scheme to the free frequency it runs off of, Bluetooth is a win win situation for the user. I believe that Bluetooth will revolutionize the way business is done today. If the SIG produces these products quick enough and markets this technology in the right way, I believe that Bluetooth will exceed the expectations of those who are directly correlated with it.
Article: Bluetooth Technology. http://www.gsmdata.com/artblue.htm (10/13/99).
Bluetooth Architecture Overview.
Bluetooth – Document (Text Only).
Bluetooth: The missing link in mobile e-commerce.
Catholic Encyclopedia: Harold Bluetooth.