Bluetooth – Just the Facts (And Some Theories)

We encounter it all the time these days – Bluetooth. Yet, do you really know what it’s all about? And why the heck is it called that?

Here’s some quick facts you can pull out next time you have a bar bet:


  • Why is it called Bluetooth?
    • The developer (Jim Kardach) suggested the name Bluetooth in 1997 as a nod to the Scandinavian 10th century King Harald Bluetooth. The King unified Denmark and Norway, like the technology unites various devices.
  • What is that symbol in the logo?
    • Again, a nod to the Norse. It’s the Nordic runes for the initials “HB.”
  • What is Bluetooth?
    • It’s a technology for connecting devices like computers, speakers, phones, mice, and headsets wirelessly to one another.
  • What is pairing?
    • This is the initial connecting of the devices using a passkey, which is then stored.
  • What is connected?
    • When the devices are able to communicate with one another, they are connected.
  • What kind of range does Bluetooth have?
    • Class 2 Bluetooth, which is most common, has a range of about 33 feet
And now some extra credit, for those of you that really love trivia, and history:
  • How did King Harold get the nickname, “Bluetooth?”
    • 3 Possible Reasons:
      • He had a bad tooth, which was black, and the word “blue” meant “dark.” (most common theory)
      • He was called “Thegn” in England, which meant chief. Since “blue” meant “dark”, his nickname was really “dark chieftain.”
      • He wore blue clothing, which in those time was the most expensive, thus signifying his royal stature.


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