Bluetooth is a wireless technology that enables secure and robust connection,wireless, between a portable and a fixed device. Devices are normally connected to each other using cables, wire, infrared signals and radio signals to mention but a few. Bluetooth is one of the wireless connection mechanisms that is automatic. It removes user intervention and saves transmission power
As a networking standard, Bluetooth works at the following two levels:–
- Provision of an agreement at a physical level by using a radio frequency standard to determine the presence of two devices.
- Provision of an agreement at a protocol level and the devices determine and agree how many bits are sent, when they are sent and how to ensure the integrity of the messages sent.
Bluetooth 1.0 had a maximum transfer rate of 1Mbps while the more recent Bluetooth 2.0 has a transfer speed of up to 3 Mbps. The former is backward compatible with the later.
How it works
Data is transmitted by a low power radio wave which communicates at 2.45 gigahertz. It is able to connect up to 8 devices within a ten meter radius. By using the spread-spectrum frequency hopping technique, Bluetooth ensures that at any particular time no two devices transmit on the same frequency.
When two devices that are Bluetooth enabled, they initiate a conversation to determine whether any of the devices have data to share. (PAN)Personal-area network (Piconet) is established at this time. The members of the piconet randomly hop in unison the frequencies in order to stay in touch.
Advantages of Bluetooth
1. With Bluetooth, internetworking cables are reduced hence making an office or working space to be more neat and less crowded – Improved working environment.
2. Bluetooth line of site can pass through obstacles such as walls which is not the case in other competing technologies such as infrared.
3. Unlike infrared it can provide communication between devices with long distances apart which can reach up to hundred Meters.
4. Low power utilization and can therefore be integrated with low power devices such as mobile phones and hand held devices and still conserve their batteries.
Disadvantages of Bluetooth
1. Compared to other connection mechanisms, Bluetooth has a low data rate especially if you compare it with physical cables.
2. Security is a major issue as data can be intercepted during transmission especially if two communicating devices are a big distance apart.