History of Bluetooth
the Evolution of Bluetooth Technology

For all of you history buffs and technology geeks out there you may enjoy reading this short article about the History of Bluetooth Technology. This simple chronology of the milestones and achievements of Bluetooth show us that although it all started in 1998, the technology is still in its infancy and we can expect further development and enhancements in the near future. Personally, I like to dream about what the next generation can do for us. The sky is the limit.

1998 | SIG Formed, History of Bluetooth Begins

This is when and how it all got started. A group of 5 companies formed the Bluetooth Special Interest Group known as SIG to collaborate on the technology and agree on how they could harness its tremendous capability. While the acronym SIG officially stands for “Special Interest Group” I like to think of it as “Super Intelligent Genius’s.” I like my acronym description better!

1999 | Best in Show

It didn’t take the SIG long to roll out the specifications for Bluetooth 1.0 which earned them top honors at the COMDEX show, receiving the “Best of Show Technology Award.” Off to an incredible start wouldn’t you say!

2000 | Headsets & Mobile Phones

In keeping with their fast pace, they introduced the first mobile phone equipped with Bluetooth technology. They didn’t stop there; the first Bluetooth equipped headset was shipped in 2000. Hitting the show circuit again, the USB Prototype was shown at COMDEX and a prototype mouse and laptop was one of the top demonstrations at CeBIT. In the same year the first PC card was introduced as well as the first chip with integrated radio frequency and Bluetooth wireless software.

2001 | Printers, Laptops, & Hands Free Car Phones

Bluetooth technology continued to spread like wildfire in 2001. This was certainly a breakthrough year in the history of Bluetooth with the introduction of the first Bluetooth printer, the first Bluetooth laptop, the first hands-free car kit. Taking things to a whole new level, the first hands-free car kit featuring speech recognition. How cool is that!

History of Bluetooth Mouse 2001

Bluetooth Mouse

History of Bluetooth Printers

Bluetooth Printer

History of Bluetooth Hands Free

Bluetooth Hands Free

2002 | Digital Cameras

Another year of Bluetooth firsts with the introduction of the first GPS receiver, the first keyboard and mouse combination package, and the first Bluetooth digital camera. Talk about a milestone, in 2002 the number of Bluetooth qualified products on the market hits 500. WOW!

2003 | The Medical Market

Bluetooth goes Medical with its first FDA-approved medical device. The market pace is blistering with weekly shipments of over 1 million products. If you still have your old Bluetooth MP3, it may be vintage 2003.

2004 | Bluetooth 2.0

Like all technology; major advancements and features are rolled out over time. Bluetooth 2.0 was released in 2004 complete with EDR (Enhanced Data Rate). The introduction of the first stereo headphones helped to push the weekly shipments to over 3 million products with the total number of devices shipped reaching a level of 250 million. Astonishing!!!

2005 | 5 Million Weeky Shipments

You thought the 2004 numbers were strong. The number of weekly shipments in 2005 rose to 5 million, almost double that of the previous year. Talk about exponential growth! This was one of the largest periods of growth in the history of Bluetooth.

2006 | Mini Applications

Just when you thought you couldn’t find any more applications for Bluetooth technology we see the first Bluetooth sunglasses, the first Bluetooth Picture Frame, and the first Bluetooth Watch. Sales double again reaching 10 million units per week with a customer base of 1 billion units. That’s right billion with a “B” very impressive!

History of Bluetooth Sunglasses

Bluetooth Sunglasses

History of Bluetooth Picture Frames

Bluetooth Picture Frames

History of Bluetooth Watches

Bluetooth Watches

2007 | Bluetooth TV’s

Yep that’s right, the first Bluetooth TV & the first Bluetooth alarm clock radio.

2008 | Version 3.0

Version 3.0 hits the market featuring PTS (Profile Tuning Suite) which provides automatic updates. In this the year of their 10th anniversary, the market comes close to reaching 2 billion product shipments since inception.

2009 | Version 3.0 HS

Version 3.0 HS brings high-speed technology to the Bluetooth world.

2010 | Version 4.0

Another major breakthrough in technology, Version 4.0 brings us low-energy technology while Version 4.1 introduces us to PTS (Profile Tuning Suite).

2011 | iPhone 4S

The new iPhone 4S supports Bluetooth v4.0 as the first low energy phone. Apple also releases the MacBook Air & MacMini with Bluetooth v4.0.

2012 | Low Energy Tablets

The first Bluetooth low energy tablets arrive on the scene.

2013 | Low Energy Android

Google announces native support for Androids equipped with Bluetooth Low Energy.

2014 | IP Connectivity

Bluetooth v4.2 new features for IP connectivity with additional privacy and more speed.

2015 | Smart Mesh Working Group

The announcement of the formation of the Smart Mesh Working Group is sure to lead to big news in the home networking world.

2016 | Version 5 Announcement

The announcement of version 5 is a huge jump in capability including 4 times the range, twice the speed, and an 800% increase in the data broadcasting capacity.

2017 | Something Exciting

It’s too soon to tell, but I am confident that 2017 will bring another new surprise to the Bluetooth world. Can’t wait to see what.

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