The History of Bluetooth
An Introduction to the Newest
Standard in Wireless Technology
For over 40 years, Plantronics
has been the world leader in communications headsets. In establishing our
leadership position, we've employed a wide array of technologies and applications
to deliver hands-free comfort and convenience in the office, at home and
on the go. Today, there are a host of new technologies that are enhancing
personal communications, including Bluetooth, Voice over Internet Protocol
(VoIP), and Digital Signal Processing (DSP). Over the next several months,
we will explore these new technologies so you can select the headset solution
that's best for you.
Wires, Wires Everywhere
As electronics of all types
have proliferated - TVs, stereos, computers, mobile phones, and more -
they have brought with them a profusion of wires. Wires, wires everywhere.
In consumer products, we've seen a gradual elimination of wires in favor
or wireless convenience - virtually all TVs and stereos now come with a
wireless controller - usually a simple line-of-sight infrared remote. Point
the remote at the electronic gear, and presto, you've got wireless control.
This same wireless convenience
is now starting to show up outside the home with a variety of technologies,
including Bluetooth. Bluetooth is a wireless specification that was created
in the late 1990s when nine communications and computer companies - Ericsson,
IBM, Intel, Nokia, Toshiba, Motorola, 3Com, Lucent and Microsoft - agreed
to support this common standard so their various products could communicate
with one another, without wires. Plantronics quickly joined this "consortium"
as member #20, and was the first headset company; now there are over 2100
companies in the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG).
A Wireless World
A key difference between
Bluetooth and other wireless technologies is that it's designed as a short
range, low power, and ultimately, a low-cost standard. For example, 802.11
(also called WiFi and HomeRF), is an increasingly popular wireless technology
used in many companies, and even in retail locations, such as coffee houses
(often called "hotspots"). But it's not practical to fit 802.11 electronics
into a product the size of a headset. That's where Bluetooth comes in.
Bluetooth is designed to
let smaller, more personal devices communicate wirelessly - getting rid
of "cable clutter" by eliminating the wires. Because Bluetooth can communicate
up to 30 feet, and is very power efficient, it's ideal for a variety of
products, including PDAs, mobile phones... and headsets.
Wireless Headsets - Cutting
Bluetooth headsets deliver
all the benefits of their corded brethren - hands-free convenience, ergonomic
comfort and excellent sound quality - but without the wire that can get
tangled in a pocket or purse. But not all Bluetooth headsets are created
equal. While Bluetooth is a standard, headset design and experience are
Plantronics has 40 years
of experience in designing headsets that excel in sound quality, comfort
and style. We have extensive experience in the science of acoustics and
human factors, which we've brought into the creation of our line of Bluetooth