Bluetooth technology is the foundation that has enabled a revolution in wireless connectivity. Different types of Bluetooth require little power to transmit audio or information through two devices. It is developed by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group, a group that associates a conglomerate of companies belonging to the world of telecommunications, computers, and electronic equipment. Bluetooth allows data transmission between two devices located at a certain distance, using a wireless system that works with a bandwidth of 2.4 GHz. We can use it to send or receive any type of file, such as music, data or videos without the need for use cables.
Origins of Bluetooth Technology
Its origins date back to 1994 when the Ericsson company began researching a new method for sending files over the phone, looking for a way to keep cost and power consumption low. His name comes from Harald Blatand, a Nordic king known for his ease of communication, and whose translation into English would be Harold Bluetooth. Later in 1999, a special group was created to advance Bluetooth technology: Special Interest Group (SIG). This association brought together several leading companies in the technology and telecommunications industries, such as Nokia, Intel, Ericsson, Toshiba, and IBM, which were later joined by Microsoft and Motorola, among others.
Transmission Speed And Connectivity Range
When Bluetooth technology was born, it could transmit data with a speed of 720 KBS, a surprising capacity for the time but that today seems ridiculous to us. After several generations, the different types of current Bluetooth have speeds of up to 24Mbs. The connection range is another aspect that has improved considerably. At first, they operated over distances of less than one meter and now they can exceed 100 meters.
Bluetooth devices have two fundamental parts of their operation. The first is a radio device that is responsible for transmitting the signal. Secondly, a CPU is responsible for processing digital signals. Bluetooth devices are classified into four classes according to their capacity:
Class 1: They have a connectivity range of up to 100 meters and a consumption power of 100 mW.
Class 2: Their connectivity range reaches 20 meters and they have a power of 2.5 mW.
Class 3: Their range reaches 1 meter and they have a power of 1mW.
Class 4: They have a maximum range of 0.5 meters and a power of 0.5 mW.
Bluetooth Technology Versions
The first Bluetooth receivers had version v1.0 and v1.0B. Today they are already obsolete since they presented several connectivity problems between the devices. These versions were followed by Bluetooth 1.1 and 1.2, which began to be recognized as standard means for wireless data transmission. The transmission rate of the Bluetooth 1 versions revolved around 721 kbps.
These types of Bluetooth allowed a faster and easier connection to users. They achieved an automatic connection between various mobile devices, thanks to the addition of a menu that made it possible to select and detect other nearby equipment with Bluetooth capabilities. Also, they added a higher transmission rate, hence the concept added to these types of Bluetooth: BR / EDR (Basic Rate / Enhanced Data Rate). In BR it was able to transmit at 1 Mbps, while in EDR, the transfer increased to 2Mbps, and on rare occasions, it achieved a transfer close to 3Mbps. The Bluetooth 2.1 update brought an improvement focused on user safety: Secure Simple Pairing (SSP). It is allowed for better data filtering. They also introduced the Oler Sub rating technology, which enabled lower energy consumption.
The types of Bluetooth Bluetooth 3.0, launched in 2009, added the HS (High Speed) capability, which enabled the transfer of heavier data, such as videos or audio files, by having a faster transfer that reached the 24 Mbps. They also added as an alternative to the use of wifi for the transfer of very heavy data packets. This new feature was called a MAC / PHY alternative.
This version was released in 2010 and had updates 41. AND 4.2. Improvements include the novelty of Bluetooth Smart, which, apart from handling previous features such as Bluetooth HS, adds Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology. This generates a lower power consumption, something very useful for those devices designed for long uses. With the inclusion of the BLE concept, which enables longer synchronization, the range of Bluetooth technology reached other devices, such as medical equipment, or performance trackers for athletes. The transfer rate has also improved and is capable of transmitting from 25 Mbps to 32 Mbps.
This is the latest version of Bluetooth that has been released, and it has been available since the end of 2016. It is not yet used by the majority of devices on the market, but it is expected that most of the smartphones released in the Last quarter of the year are already trained with this technology. This version considerably improves the data transfer rate, double that of version 4.1 and 4.2. Also, it adds a connectivity range up to four times greater than that possible in previous versions. It also has the peculiarity of supporting several simultaneous connections for transmission between different Bluetooth devices.
The connection between different Bluetooth devices with different versions is possible as long as they are attached to the equipment that has the latest Bluetooth technology. In the case of Bluetooth 4, because they include a new protocol called BLE, we must look for those teams specially trained to handle the improvements of the Bluetooth Smart. Devices that have the Bluetooth Smart Ready seal will be able to synchronize without problems using this version, as well as with Bluetooth devices from old versions. We also find some devices with a Bluetooth Smart Device seal, which may only work with other devices that are Bluetooth Smart or Bluetooth LE capable.
All Bluetooth receivers handle certain encoding algorithms necessary to compress heavy audio files. Since we’re talking about wireless technology, compression is the only way to send heavy audio files for real-time perception. The efficiency of the codec determines the quality of the sound that we will hear. The standard codec that all Bluetooth devices designed for sound transmission have is the SBC, but there are other, higher-quality alternatives, such as AAC or aptX.