Bluetooth

Wireless Bluetooth headset

Bluetooth – an industrial specification for wireless personal area networks (PANs). Bluetooth provides a way to connect and exchange information between devices such as mobile phones, laptops, PCs, printers, digital cameras, and video game consoles over a secure, globally unlicensed short-range radio frequency.

Bluetooth lets these devices talk to each other when they come in range, even if they are not in the same room, as long as they are within up to 100 metres (320 feet) of each other, dependent on the power class of the product.

The Bluetooth specification was first developed by Ericsson, and was later formalized by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) in 1999 by Sony Ericsson, IBM, Intel, Toshiba and Nokia, and later joined by many other companies.

Bluetooth logo

Bluetooth name and logo
The Bluetooth system is named after a Danish king Harold Bluetooth (in English), King of Denmark and Norway in the 900s known for his unification of previously warring tribes from Denmark, Norway and Sweden. The Bluetooth logo merges the Nordic runes for H and B.

What’s the problem?
Noke padlock trades in keys and combos for Bluetooth. the world’s first Bluetooth padlock unlocks when it detects the Bluetooth signal from an approved user’s smartphone. To unlock the Noke (pronounced “no key”), you just press down on its shackle once. This wakes it up, and gets it searching for Bluetooth 4.0 signals within a 10-foot (3-meter) range. If it detects its own specific unlocking signal emanating from the user’s phone – which can be in their pocket or bag at the time – it proceeds to pop open. It automatically locks back up once the signal goes out of range again.

  • Ask – Most bike riders also have a smartphone. Fewer people carry traditional keys. It is a good idea to lock up your bike when you leave it parked.
  • Imagine – Bluetooth technology is available to be used to control mechanical and electronic devices. What are some of the challenges for using Bluetooth for bike lock locking and unlocking? What could go wrong? Are there additional features that can be included with a Bluetooth enabled device.
  • Design, Build – How close must the smartphone be to the bike lock?
  • Improve – Does this provide adequate security for your bicycle?

That’s engineering

  • wireless – any type of electrical or electronic operation which is done without a “hard wired” connection
  • radio, transmitter, receiver – Radio is a way to send electromagnetic signals over a long distance, to deliver information from one place to another. A machine that sends radio signals is called a transmitter, while a machine that “picks up” the signals is called a receiver.

Engineering ideas

  • wireless, personal area network, mobile, devices, secure, radio frequency, short-range, radio, transmitter, receiver, transceiver, electromagnetic

Do It
Challenges for you to work on…

  • find some unusual devices or uses of Bluetooth technology. What makes these interesting? Is this something completely new or does it replace another process or technology. For example wireless headset replace headsets that were connected to a player by a cord. The wireless version provides greater freedom and flexibility for movement away from the device.