Yesterday I got a crash course in Bluetooth technology! I had no idea about all of the applications the wireless protocol can be used for. It all came about because my stereo headphones finally bought the dust. I am a total audiophile so having a good set of headphones is a requirement for me. I had a really nice set which lasted a long time so I haven’t had to buy any in ages, which means I missed out on the advances in headphone technology. I went into my local Hi-Fi store when mine broke and was looking at new sets when I noticed that one set I picked up didn’t have a lead. Bemused and befuddled, I called over the assistant and asked how I plugged them in. She laughed and explained that they were wireless headphones. Now to me, wireless headphones are headphones for a radio, but no-one really calls the radio a wireless anymore.
I didn’t purchase any headphones straight away. I know enough about the internet to know that you can pick up some great deals ordering things from stores online. So I wrote down some serial numbers of headsets that I like and searched for them. I found a fair few on this website - http://www.for-sale.co.uk/bluetooth-stereo-headsets.
I also did a bit more research into Bluetooth as it seems amazing to me. It’s going to be great to listen to music without all those bothersome leads lying around the floor. I’m forever tripping over leads and making my expensive headphones fall to the floor. Probably why they finally broke!
It’s not just used for headphones, there are loads of amazing uses for this technology that I didn’t realize so I thought I’d write a blog post about what I discovered for all the uninitiated out there.
What is Bluetooth?
Bluetooth is a wireless communication protocol that uses radio waves to allow different devices to talk to each other in a common language. This means that data is transferred between separate technology devices in a way that they can both understand and without the need for them to be physically connected.
Bluetooth was devised by Ericsson in 1994 and was named after a Danish king called Harold Bluetooth. The name is apt because the king united several warring factions in Denmark, Sweden and Norway during the 10th century. Bluetooth’s mission is to unite different technologies in a wireless way- https://www.bluetooth.com/about-us
It’s not to be confused with WiFi, which allows you to connect to a point that then connects with the wider internet. Bluetooth is for connecting two or more devices that are within a certain range of each other. In order for devices to speak to each other they must search the local area for other Bluetooth users and then connect. They can then pass data freely between them.
It is great for streaming large amounts of data so is perfect for music and video and has a bunch of other amazing uses like connecting doors, lights or pretty much anything you can think of. The ubiquity of smartphones and apps makes it easy to control remotely allowing you to change multiple devices from the comfort of your armchair.
What devices use Bluetooth?
There are countless Bluetooth devices out there these days. The most obvious ones are headphones and speakers. Bluetooth is particularly good for small travel speakers that you can carry around with you and play music or connect to the radio via your Smartphone.
It is also great for use in the car. Not just for connecting your music to the stereo but also for things like sat nav. There is even a great projector that projects the sat nav display onto your windscreen in a fancy HUD or heads up display.
It is used in a wide variety of fitness devices so that you can track data like footsteps and position. The data is then transmitted to your phone so that you can log everything and see how far towards your fitness goals you are.
Smart watches are the latest thing which can also connect to your phone via Bluetooth allowing you to take calls or send messages from your wristwatch in true Dick Tracy style.
Home Thermostats can be controlled from your phone so that you don’t have to go out into the cold corridor to change the heating. You can even set times for when it comes on and off, alleviating the need to find the thermostat manual every time you try and decipher how the thing works.
There are Bluetooth styluses that connect to tablets so that you can draw or paint on them with something that feels like a pen or paintbrush between your fingers.