Wireless Bluetooth technology began weaving itself into our lives in the early 2000s and has now become a fairly indispensable tool we use every day. However, what does the name Bluetooth even mean? Is Bluetooth really named after a Danish king who reigned over 1000 years ago?

Bluetooth Logo
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When Was Bluetooth Invented?

Wireless Bluetooth Technology was developed by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group located in Kirkland, Washington in 1998.

As with most new technology, it took a few years for the general public to really embrace it, so it wasn't until around 2003/2004.

Popularity boomed for the technology with the advent of cellphones and handsfree headsets in the early 2000s.

Fast forward to today, and you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn't own at least one Bluetooth speaker.

Now, let's talk about where the name Bluetooth comes from...

What Does Bluetooth Mean?

It seems that the name of the wireless technology was intended to only be temporary until the creators could come up with something "better".

In 1997, developer Jim Kardach suggested the Bluetooth name as a placeholder after discovering a picture of the runestone of Harald Bluetooth.

From Wikipedia.com -

"Bluetooth was only intended as a placeholder until marketing could come up with something really cool.

Later, when it came time to select a serious name, Bluetooth was to be replaced with either RadioWire or PAN (Personal Area Networking). PAN was the front runner, but an exhaustive search discovered it already had tens of thousands of hits throughout the internet."

Developers couldn't get trademark clearance on the name RadioWire before the launch date, so they stuck with the Bluetooth name according to wikipedia.com.

Bluetooth wireless technology was actually named in honor of 10th-century Danish Viking king Harald Bluetooth.

Yep, there was actually a king by the name of Bluetooth.

Harald "Bluetooth" Gormsson ruled Norway from c. 958 – c. 986.

King Harald Bluetooth is credited for "uniting the disparate Danish tribes into a single kingdom" and Kardach reportedly suggested the name "to imply that Bluetooth similarly unites communication protocols".

The Bluetooth logo is a combination of two ancient Viking letters called a bind rune.

The two ancient Viking letters used are "H" and "B", King Harald Bluetooth's initials.

Read more about King Bluetooth over at wikipedia.com.

 

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