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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 the Cord
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 not. 

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 headsets 

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