Bluetooth is a wireless technology standard used for exchanging data between fixed and mobile devices over short distances using short-wavelength UHF radio waves in the industrial, scientific and medical radio bands, from 2.402 GHz to 2.480 GHz, and building personal area networks (PANs). It was originally conceived as a wireless alternative to RS-232 data cables.
In 1997, Adalio Sanchez, then head of IBM ThinkPad product R&D, approached Nils Rydbeck about collaborating on integrating a mobile phone into a ThinkPad notebook. The two assigned engineers from Ericsson and IBM to study the idea. The conclusion was that power consumption on cellphone technology at that time was too high to allow viable integration into a notebook and still achieve adequate battery life. Instead, the two companies agreed to integrate Ericsson's short-link technology on both a ThinkPad notebook and an Ericsson phone to accomplish the goal. Since neither IBM ThinkPad notebooks nor Ericsson phones were the market share leaders in their respective markets at that time, Adalio Sanchez and Nils Rydbeck agreed to make the short-link technology an open industry standard to permit each player maximum market access. Ericsson contributed the short-link radio technology, and IBM contributed patents around the logical layer. Adalio Sanchez of IBM then recruited Stephen Nachtsheim of Intel to join and then Intel also recruited Toshiba and Nokia. In May 1998, the Bluetooth SIG was launched with IBM and Ericsson as the founding signatories and a total of five members: Ericsson, Intel, Nokia, Toshiba and IBM.
At any given time, data can be transferred between the master and one other device (except for the little-used broadcast mode). The master chooses which slave device to address; typically, it switches rapidly from one device to another in a round-robin fashion. Since it is the master that chooses which slave to address, whereas a slave is (in theory) supposed to listen in each receive slot, being a master is a lighter burden than being a slave. Being a master of seven slaves is possible; being a slave of more than one master is possible. The specification is vague as to required behavior in scatternets.
To use Bluetooth wireless technology, a device must be able to interpret certain Bluetooth profiles, which are definitions of possible applications and specify general behaviors that Bluetooth-enabled devices use to communicate with other Bluetooth devices. These profiles include settings to parameterize and to control the communication from the start. Adherence to profiles saves the time for transmitting the parameters anew before the bi-directional link becomes effective. There are a wide range of Bluetooth profiles that describe many different types of applications or use cases for devices.
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are to some extent complementary in their applications and usage. Wi-Fi is usually access point-centered, with an asymmetrical client-server connection with all traffic routed through the access point, while Bluetooth is usually symmetrical, between two Bluetooth devices. Bluetooth serves well in simple applications where two devices need to connect with a minimal configuration like a button press, as in headsets and remote controls, while Wi-Fi suits better in applications where some degree of client configuration is possible and high speeds are required, especially for network access through an access node. However, Bluetooth access points do exist, and ad-hoc connections are possible with Wi-Fi though not as simply as with Bluetooth. Wi-Fi Direct was recently developed to add a more Bluetooth-like ad-hoc functionality to Wi-Fi.
Updates the power control feature to remove the open loop power control, and also to clarify ambiguities in power control introduced by the new modulation schemes added for EDR. Enhanced power control removes the ambiguities by specifying the behaviour that is expected. The feature also adds closed loop power control, meaning RSSI filtering can start as the response is received. Additionally, a "go straight to maximum power" request has been introduced. This is expected to deal with the headset link loss issue typically observed when a user puts their phone into a pocket on the opposite side to the headset.
High-level protocols such as the SDP (Protocol used to find other Bluetooth devices within the communication range, also responsible for detecting the function of devices in range), RFCOMM (Protocol used to emulate serial port connections) and TCS (Telephony control protocol) interact with the baseband controller through the L2CAP Protocol (Logical Link Control and Adaptation Protocol). The L2CAP protocol is responsible for the segmentation and reassembly of the packets.
The Host Controller Interface provides a command interface for the controller and for the link manager, which allows access to the hardware status and control registers. This interface provides an access layer for all Bluetooth devices. The HCI layer of the machine exchanges commands and data with the HCI firmware present in the Bluetooth device. One of the most important HCI tasks that must be performed is the automatic discovery of other Bluetooth devices that are within the coverage radius.