Translated by
2016/09/17 08:53:42


Bluetooth  — the international standard of wireless communications of a small range. The basic purpose of Bluetooth  — providing an economic radio communication between different types of electronic devices, and considerable significance is attached to compactness of electronic components that gives the chance to apply Bluetooth in small-size devices.


Logo of the Bluetooth standard
Logo of the Bluetooth standard

The Bluetooth technology is firmly settled communication standard for wireless communication at small distances, connecting devices by means of one universal radio line to a small range. Initially reach of the radio interface was put to equal 10 meters, however now specifications of Bluetooth already define also the second zone — about 100 m. At the same time there is no need for that the connected devices were in a line of sight of each other. Besides, the devices interacting among themselves can be in the movement.

Origin of the name

The technology received the name in honor of the Scandinavian king Harald Bluetooth who became famous for consolidation of the Danish and Norwegian lands. In 1994 the Ericsson company erected a monument to Harald in the Swedish city of Lund, having refreshed episodes of world history in memory of descendants and having named the monarch of new wireless technology for mobile communications.

Creation and development of technology


In 1994 the Ericsson company created the working group on development of the new radio interface which would allow to establish connection between the cell phone and the wireless headset, and at the same time would not be expensive and power-intensive. According to the project, the technology had to provide:

  • use worldwide;
  • work with voice and data transmission;
  • possibility of installation of ad hoc connections;
  • an opportunity to resist to noises from other sources in an open band;
  • very compact size for ensuring convenient integration into different devices;
  • insignificant energy consumption, in comparison with other devices intended for the similar purposes;
  • open interface standard;
  • low cost.


At the beginning of 1998 the companies Nokia Corporation IBM Toshiba, also Intel joined consortium on development of wireless communication, having created the special working group (Special Interest Group — SIG). Other, less large organizations also participated in development.


At the end of 1999 the first description of new technology was published. It was at once announced that the created version of the Bluetooth 1.0.B standard is not final and the final specification should appear only after additional checks and completions.


A year later after release of the first version of the standard, the SIG group published version 1.1 of the Bluetooth specification. In March, 2002 the Chamber of standards IEEE-SA approved the new standard of wireless communications which received the designation IEEE 802.15.1 and created on the basis of the Bluetooth 1.1 specification.


In 2004 the Bluetooth 2.0 technology which increased data transfer rate to 2.1 Mbps was developed, and the functionality of Bluetooth devices was expanded in 2007 with the advent of Bluetooth 2.1.


The last update of Bluetooth was in August, 2008 when submitted to Bluetooth SIG version 2.1+EDR. That time energy consumption was reduced and data protection level is increased.

2009: Bluetooth 3.0

In April, 2009 the consortium Bluetooth SIG advertized release of the new version of technology of wireless data transmission of Bluetooth. The new, third version of Bluetooth will provide the data transfer rate comparable to the Wi-fi standard that is several times higher in comparison with Bluetooth 2.1. According to the press release of consortium, "the new specification will allow to transfer big video files, collections of music tracks and library of photos in seconds".

The new specification will include Enhanced Power Control (EPC) technology which will provide more permanent connection between Bluetooth devices, interfering with its gap at emergence of obstacles in a way of a signal.

The consortium announced that data transfer rate from one Bluetooth device of third generation to another will make 300 Mbps.

2010: Bluetooth 4.0

Specifications of the wireless Bluetooth 4.0 interface differing in low power consumption at last are approved. According to representatives of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group association which is responsible for its standardization, intelligent measuring devices and portable computers will become the first devices supporting this technology. Also there will be they in the market in 2010.

The Bluetooth 4.0 standard represents the upgraded version of the previous version of technology, Bluetooth 3.0 which was prepared in 2009. The new version includes the specifications providing decrease in energy consumption by transfer of small portions of data on short distances. Here also the possibilities of high-speed transfer provided to versions of Bluetooth 3.0 and allowing devices to switch to wireless local area networks 802.11 for data transmission with a speed up to 25 Mbps belong.

It is expected that first of all the technology will find application in hours, the intellectual measuring devices, pedometers and other devices working on compact batteries. Portable computers and smartphones finally will also be equipped with the Bluetooth 4.0 interfaces and will be able to collect data arriving from other devices. In addition, it will help to exercise constant control behind the state of health of people and to monitor effective use of the electric power.

Functions of wireless data transmission which appear in all new electronic devices simplify their interaction with other devices. However use for this purpose of Wi-fi technology is not optimal: it requires permanent connection that has an adverse effect on the employment duration of devices from batteries. Thanks to Bluetooth 4.0 it is possible to reduce energy consumption at the organization of exchange of small portions of data (including office) at short distances.

Now there are also other wireless technologies capable to compete with Bluetooth 4.0. In a set of Nike+iPod the patent technology providing fast transfer of small portions of data from the special sensor which is built in in footwear Nike on devices is used Apple iPod and iPhone. At the end of June the Monster company announced 3D Vision Max glasses performing information exchange with the TV by means of wireless technology with low power consumption which was developed within the Zigbee Alliance project.

The Bluetooth SIG association integrates more than 13 thousand companies which such famous producers as Intel, Lenovo, Microsoft, Motorola and Nokia Corporation are among.

2014: Bluetooth 4.2

At the beginning of December, 2014 the Bluetooth Special Interest Group organization issued the technical specification of a wireless data transmission technology Bluetooth 4.2. The standard was improved considerably as for speed regulation characteristics and information security.

In the standard promise to add officially a feature for direct connection to Network. So devices Bluetooth-enabled 4.2 will be able not only to interact directly with each other, but also to be connected to the Internet (thanks to support of the IPv6/6LoWPAN protocol) through the corresponding access points.

The key idea of development of the standard is in that using Bluetooth it was possible to connect any devices with each other. So in fact, it is about so-called Internet of Things (Internet of Things, IoT). According to estimates of Harvard Business Review and Goldman Sachs, in 2020 28 billion "things" will be connected to Internet of Things. Bluetooth developers apply for defined (probably, significant) a share of this pie. Considering the fact that the Bluetooth technology is rather energy efficient, chances of success are high.

Also the Bluetooth specification became safer. From now on active Bluetooth device will be more difficult to trace or intercept the corresponding traffic until the user independently does not permit similar in settings. New data with speed of 2.5 times will be able to transfer Bluetooth gadgets more, than when using the previous version of the protocol. It managed to be reached using increase in the size of a standard data packet.

It is expected that the first devices Bluetooth-enabled 4.2 will be provided at the beginning of 2015. Producers do not call exact terms yet.

2016: Bluetooth 5

On June 17, 2016 consortium Bluetooth Special Interest Group (Bluetooth SIG) provided the next version of the Bluetooth standard - 5. Its emergence in the commercial market is planned 2016 at the end or the beginning of 2017[1].

Bluetooth 5 will offer four times a bigger range, twice high speed of data transmission and vosmikratno the increased capacity of the message of a contactless broadcast.

Contacts of Bluetooth today and tomorrow, (2016)
Contacts of Bluetooth today and tomorrow, (2016)

This first considerable updating of the standard since 2009 when air saw Bluetooth 4.

With increase in capacity of broadcast messages transfer of more difficult, intellectual information will become possible. It will lead to change of a method of information transfer of Bluetooth devices. The model of creation of pair will consign to the past. So-called contactless connection will come to its place, claim in Bluetooth SIG.

World deliveries of devices Bluetooth-enabled by 2020 will reach 371 million pieces, according to ABI Research assessment. The increased capacity of broadcast messages of Bluetooth 5 will give to Vosmikratno opportunities for distribution of radio beacons and services with a binding to the area in spheres of automation, industry and entrepreneurship.

Today in the world 8.2 billion Bluetooth devices are used. Thanks to further development of Bluetooth, including release of Bluetooth 5, by 2020 this technology will be present at one third of all started devices of Internet of Things.

Mark Powell, chief executive of Bluetooth SIG


Could open with bluetooth virus BlueBorne the next device in 10 seconds

Specialists of Armis Labs company detected in September, 2017 a virus which can extend and infect smartphones and other devices through Bluetooth without participation of users, writes the edition Wired HEY, TURN BLUETOOTH OFF WHEN YOU'RE NOT USING IT[2].

The name BlueBorne was appropriated to this method of cracking, he uses vulnerabilities in the Bluetooth protocol, is given from one device to another, and the virus so works that users do not suspect that their system is cracked[3].

According to the head of research division of Armis Labs Ben Seri, BlueBorne can lead to the same mass infection, as well as the WannaCry virus. Infection can occur within ten seconds after when scanning the next devices with the included Bluetooth the program detects vulnerability.

Three producers of operating systems already stated that they released updates for liquidation of vulnerabilities. Apple said that BlueBorne is not terrible to systems on IOS 10 or more of new versions, in Windows released corresponding "patch" in July, and Google released update in August, however its installation can take some time. ​Linux also develops a method of protection against a new virus, however running this operating system the set of devices (for example, TVs) which either do not receive updating works, or do it too seldom.

Bluetooth Mesh

In the middle of July the Bluetooth SIG organization which is engaged in development of wireless technology announced the Bluetooth format with multicell-like data transmission.[4]

The provided Bluetooth standard for data transmission uses a virtual network from a set of cells. Data are transferred to networks from one cell to another, will not reach the addressee yet.

Approximate scheme of Bluetooth Mesh network
Approximate scheme of Bluetooth Mesh network

The Bluetooth Mesh standard can be applied, for example, if it is necessary to send data from the sensor in one room to the computer to another in the same apartment. Information will be transmitted through intermediate nodes: smartphones, tablets, computers and any other devices which support technology.

Including Bluetooth Mesh can be useful at the organization of interaction of devices of Internet of Things (IoT) for the "smart" house. Sensors and sensors will be able to exchange data with central node at long distances. Similar sending a signal directly to the receiver would involve big costs of energy, than transfer on the next cell. As result, structures of Internet of Things will be able longer to work from one accumulator, at the same time they will not be required to be connected on a wire.

The feature of Bluetooth Mesh is that he does not demand change of hardware "fittings" of the device. The standard can work on all devices with Bluetooth 4.0 and 5.0, however updating of software will be required.

Toshiba Bluetooth product series with low power consumption supports the Bluetooth Mesh standard

Solutions of Toshiba for networks with mesh topology provide the increased range and the increased reliability of data exchange of Bluetooth.

On August 9, 2017 the Toshiba Electronics Europe company announced that the product series of Bluetooth with low power consumption supports the Bluetooth Mesh standard now. The combination of the Bluetooth Mesh 1.0 standard and application software of Toshiba allows the products Bluetooth with low power consumption of Toshiba company at the same time to increase a range and reliability of data exchange due to use of Bluetooth network with mesh topology and also to increase battery life.

Thanks to a combination of the open solution for creation of networks to mesh topology and own solutions for communications systems of Bluetooth the Toshiba company increases reliability of data exchange on the basis of the world's leading communication technology and expands support of such quickly growing segments as the systems of industrial automation, management of buildings and lighting.

Earlier expansion of effective radius of data exchange on Bluetooth technology with low power consumption or signal transmission through a large number of walls was required by increases in transmission power that had an adverse effect on battery life. Broadcast at a big power was the main method of the solution of such problems as radio-frequency noises in the industrial environment or signal transmission through thick concrete walls. This approach had significant restrictions, and it was inefficient for the devices with a limited power supply working from batteries and also for Wednesdays with an adverse radio-frequency situation.

Support of the new networking standard Bluetooth Mesh 1.0 allows Bluetooth devices with low power consumption of Toshiba company confidentially and to reliably relay messages on network with mesh topology, without requiring direct connections between devices. It increases a range and increases reliability of data exchange on Bluetooth technology with low power consumption without increase in requirements to power supply.

Thanks to solutions for the Bluetooth systems with low power consumption the Toshiba company can also provide expansion of radius of data exchange and increase in signal power for work at distance more than 300 m on open space at the low levels of power of the transmitter and receiver. Thanks to existence of support of Bluetooth Mesh technology products of Toshiba company serve as the full-function solution, providing a bigger range for version 4.2 Bluetooth in comparison with the previous peer-to-peer connections of Bluetooth.

Technical characteristics of Bluetooth

For work of the Bluetooth radio interface the range of ISM (Industrial, Scientific, Medical) intended for operation of industrial, scientific and medical devices is used so-called lower (2.45 GHz). Feature of this range is that almost worldwide (including Russia), it is free from licensing, i.e. use of the certified transferring equipment working at these frequencies does not require additional permission.

Width of the channel for Bluetooth devices is 723.2 Kbps in an asynchronous mode or 433.9 Kbps in completely synchronous mode. Through Bluetooth connection it is possible to transmit audioinformation — through 3 channels on 64 Kbps everyone if other data are not transferred. Also the combined data transmission and voices is possible.

Principle of work and Bluetooth devices connection

Originally all Bluetooth device are in the Standby mode in which they listen each 1.28 seconds to 32 fixed frequencies. The device, having appeared in an unfamiliar environment, begins to send requests at these frequencies.

At acceptance of a request of Bluetooth device reacts to it according to the mode in which it is. In the mode of a response (discoverable mode) the device always responds to all received requests. The mode of a limited response (limited discoverable mode) means that the device can respond to the requests only limited time or under other certain conditions. The third mode, failure in a response (non-discoverable mode), prohibits the device to respond to the request.

Besides, at connection the device can be connected (connectable mode) or unavailable (non-connectable mode). In the second case the device does not allow to configure a number of settings of connection and to exchange data.

After mutual detection of the device determine the used frequency range, the size of pages, quantity and an order of frequency changing and other physical parameters of connection.

Each Bluetooth device has a global unique address (an analog of the MAC addresses at net boards), but at the level of the user the device name which can be any is usually used and not to be unique. The name can be up to 248 bytes long and use the code page according to Unicode UTF-8.

Connections not only type a point-to-point can set bluetooth device, but, as is the basic, multipoint connections. At the same time they integrate in pikoset. The procedure of connection is initiated by one, and any, from devices which becomes main (master) in pikoset. At the same time in one pikoseta can be slaver (slave) of seven devices.

Use of Bluetooth

The main direction of use Bluetooth is creation of the personal area networks (PAN, or private area networks) including such versatile devices as mobile phones, PDA, MP3-players, computers and even microwave ovens and refrigerators. The possibility of voice transmission allows to build in the Bluetooth interface wireless telephones or, for example, wireless headsets for cell phones. Any devices having a need for obtaining information or having necessary information can be nodes of a personal area network.

Bluetooth with support of biometrics, GPS and IPv6

The expected plan of further development of Bluetooth was unofficial received in the summer of 2013 from Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), allegedly showing what functionality of the following three iterations of the wireless protocol will be available both to developers, and to users.

According to the document, future versions of Bluetooth will be able to brag of support of biometrics, GPS and IPv6.

According to MYCE, in the confidential document it is predicted that Bluetooth LE, or Bluetooth Low Energy will probably be one of the main directions focused on life extension of batteries for more and more smaller devices.

"From the main opportunities planned for a debut the most interesting represents positioning functions which can well be combined with recent acquisition of WiFiSLAM Apple, small firm which created technology of "internal GPS" on the basis of standard Wi-Fi", AppleInsider explained.
"New iteration of Bluetooth, as expected, will be ready in 2014 and will be based on expanded structure of a packet which allows to perform direction finding, tracking of the movement and positioning of "internal GPS".

Meanwhile, engineers also work on integration of IPv6 into Bluetooth LE - it would allow to appoint to each Bluetooth - compatibly to the device a unique identifier (IP address), allowing objects of the real world to be detected and available via the Internet.

It is no wonder what future versions of Bluetooth will also offer higher transmission rate, more low power consumption, expanded range and the increased confidentiality.

The competing technologies

  • Wi-Fi Direct (Wi-Di) is the protocol of wireless data transmission which is constructed based on Wi-Fi, but is easy-to-customizer. Its main advantages – connection speed are 12 times higher, than at Bluetooth, communication range – up to 100 meters, and, above all – good security.

  • Visible Light Communication (VLC) - in 2011 using the light waves radiated by white LED sources which are modulated at a certain frequency the scientist from Germany it was succeeded to reset the file from one computer on another with a speed of 10 megabits per second. At the same time no cables and wireless routers were used. Only light waves which fluctuation are imperceptible for a human eye. A range of technology which received the name Visible Light Communication or just VLC about 5 meters. Developers emphasize improbable security of data transmission from interception.