Bluetooth technology was invented in 1994 by engineers at Ericsson, a Swedish company. In 1998, a group of companies agreed to work together using Bluetooth technology as a way to connect their products. These companies formed the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), an organization devoted to maintaining the technology. This means that no single company "owns" Bluetooth technology, but that many members of the Bluetooth SIG work together to develop Bluetooth technology. Bluetooth SIG developed Bluetooth specification. Afterwards this specification became a part of IEEE 802.15.1 standard.
Bluetooth technology was originally intended to be a wireless replacement for cables and wires between things like phones and headsets or computers, keyboards and mice. It works great in those devices and it can do so much more – connecting TVs, music players and even home healthcare devices.
Bluetooth technology has continued to mature and now you can create new connections that weren't possible using wires, like connecting your mobile phone to your car stereo, or printing a picture directly from your camera phone.
Bluetooth technology also uses radio waves. The biggest difference between Bluetooth technology and devices like FM radios and TV is distance. Radios and TV are meant to broadcast to many people over miles or kilometers. Bluetooth technology sends information within your own personal space, which is called your Personal Area Network or "PAN" at distances up to 50 meters (164 feet).
Bluetooth technology operates in the unlicensed industrial, scientific and medical (ISM) band at 2.4 to 2.485 GHz, using a spread spectrum, frequency hopping, full-duplex signal at a nominal rate of 1600 hops/sec. The 2.4 GHz ISM band is available and unlicensed in most countries.
Bluetooth v4.0 introduced low energy technology to the Bluetooth Core Specification, enabling new Bluetooth Smart devices that can operate for months or even years on tiny, coin-cell batteries. Markets for these new devices include health care, sports and fitness, security, and home entertainment.
Bluetooth v4.0 is the most recent version of Bluetooth wireless technology. It includes a low energy feature that is the basis for Bluetooth Smart devices. A product bearing the Bluetooth Smart and Bluetooth Smart Ready logos must include Bluetooth v4.0, but must also meet additional criteria.
The Bluetooth SIG announced the formal adoption of Bluetooth Core Specification Version 4.0 in July 2010. By mid-2011, many devices based on this technology were under development and headed to market soon, including the first wave of Bluetooth Smart Ready mobile phones due out in late 2011.
This technology is creating new opportunities for developers and manufacturers of Bluetooth devices and applications, bringing to life entirely new markets for devices that are low-cost and operate with low power wireless connectivity.