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Becoming Familiar with Bluetooth

Starting out as a short-range communications technology based on Radio Frequency (RF), Bluetooth resembles HomeRF and 802.11b, two other wireless technologies with greater ranges than Bluetooth (but using common technologies). Bluetooth differs from IrDA in that the former uses a point-to-multipoint approach to voice and data transfer. Further, Bluetooth can transmit through solid, non-metal objects, but cannot transmit through metal because it uses radio frequencies for sending signals. It operates at 2.4GHz Industrial-Scientific-Medical (ISM) band and leverages off of the Frequency Hop (FH) spread spectrum approach to transmission over multiple bands. Further, Bluetooth can support up to eight devices in a picnoet. A piconet is a Bluetooth-based network of two or more devices. Bluetooth can also transmit through walls, and does not have to have line-of-sight transmission to work.This technology uses a broadcast-like approach of one-to-many transmission of signals.

So far, the standard has generated support from more than 1,700 manufacturers—including Microsoft, Ericcson, Nokia, IBM, Toshiba, and Intel. The one major drawback is that the 2.45GHz radio signal can interfere with other household appliances including baby monitors, lower frequency cordless phones, garage door openers, and TV remotes.

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