Who Invented Bluetooth

Wondering who invented Bluetooth? This popular technology was born in the Swedish labs of cellular phone manufacturer Ericsson, but from the very beginning it was designed to do more than simply work with cell phones.

The Mid-1990s
Several companies explored the idea of an interface system that was inexpensive and didn't use much power, but Ericsson Mobile Communications led the way. Two Ericsson employees, Jaap Haartsen and Sven Mattisson, developed the prototype Bluetooth software in 1994. They capitalized on frequency hopping spread-spectrum (FHSS) technology to enable Bluetooth to transmit radio waves securely and without interference.

With emphasis placed on this protocol that could wirelessly link electronic devices, inroads were made in getting the technology off the ground. Several companies, including Ericsson, Motorola, Nokia, Intel and IBM, realized the impact that seamless integration of technology would have. They grouped together to form the Bluetooth Special Interest Group, which began intense research and development of Bluetooth technology in the late 1990s.

1998 to 2004
The Bluetooth special interest group continued to work together to develop the technology for a variety of products, including cell phones, headsets, gaming consoles, laptops and GPS systems. Various versions of Bluetooth were introduced, beginning with Versions 1.0 and 1.0B. These early specifications were plagued with bugs and failed to connect many types of devices, although the work represented a major leap forward.

Refinements introduced in the Bluetooth 1.1 and Bluetooth 1.2 specifications got the technology working for a large number of devices. The discovery process, where one Bluetooth device locates another, was sped up and data transmission speeds were increased. Version 2.0 entered the market in 2004 and boasted even faster connectivity, increased speeds for data transfers and lower power use. Bluetooth was at last ready for the marketplace, and Bluetooth headsets quickly became a popular accessory for cell phones.

2004 to Present
Greater encryption capabilities and easier pairing between Bluetooth-compatible devices made the Bluetooth 2.1 specification a major upgrade to the technology in 2007.  With more than 7,000 companies around the world participating in furthering Bluetooth technology for electronic devices, Version 3.0 debuted in 2009. Today, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group has its world headquarters in Bellevue, Washington, with other offices around the globe. Their goal is to encourage development, research and implementation of Bluetooth software technology. 

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