What is Bluetooth?


Bluetooth technology is a short-range wireless communications technology to replace the cables connecting electronic devices, allowing a person to have a phone conversation via a headset, use a wireless mouse and synchronize information from a mobile phone to a PC, all using the same core system.

The Bluetooth RF transceiver (or physical layer) operates in the unlicensed ISM band centered at 2.4 gigahertz (the same range of frequencies used by microwaves and Wi-Fi). The core system employs a frequency-hopping transceiver to combat interference and fading.

Bluetooth devices are managed using an RF topology known as a "star topology." A group of devices synchronized in this fashion forms a piconet, which may contain one master and up to seven active slaves, with additional slaves that are not actively participating in the network. (A given device may also be part of one or more piconets, either as a master or as a slave.)

 In a piconet, the physical radio channel is shared by a group of devices that are synchronized to a common clock and frequency-hopping pattern, with the master device providing the synchronization references.

How does it work?

To understand how a Bluetooth connection works, we need an example of the wireless technology being used, so let’s take a phone connected to wireless speaker. First, each device is equipped with Bluetooth connectivity, a feature that requires both software and hardware components. 

On the hardware side, an antenna-equipped chip in both devices sends and receives signals at a specific frequency. The software interprets incoming Bluetooth signals and sends them out in ways other devices can read and understand. In the case of the wireless speaker, the phone will know how to send audio files and information in a format that the speaker understands, while the speaker can interpret these signals–as well as other indicators such as volume and track controls–from the phone.

When two devices are equipped with Bluetooth, usually one of them will to be set to be discoverable, meaning it’ll show up in a list of Bluetooth devices in the area on your phone or other controlling device. Using our example, the wireless speaker would be discoverable, and it will end up being controlled by a Bluetooth-equipped phone or remote. The speaker, or any Bluetooth accessory, sends out a signal with a little bit of information to alert other nearby devices of its presence and capabilities. You tell your phone to connect, and the two devices form a personal area network, or piconet.

From this point on, the two devices know to connect with each other based on the unique address within their respective signals. No matter what other signals come in on wavelengths in which those devices operate operate, they will always detect, read, and send the correct signals. 

Bluetooth signals have a limited range, which prevents massive amounts of conflicting data covering huge areas and interrupting communication between other devices. In other words, your speaker will always know that you’re the one who is trying to listen to Nickelback, even if it doesn’t know how to criticize you for it.

Advantages of Bluetooth Technology

  • It is cheap
  • Easy to install
  • It makes connecting to different devices convenient 
  • It is wireless
  • It is free to use if the device is installed with it.

Disadvantages of Bluetooth Technology

  • It can be hacked into
  • If installed on a cellphone it is prone to receiving cell phone viruses 
  • It only allows short range communication between devices
  • It can only connect two devices at once
  • It can lose connection in certain conditions

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