Tap to Read ➤

How Did Bluetooth Technology Get its Name?

Mary Anthony
It did mean to bite the blues by pairing but ever wondered how the short-range multiple device wireless connector Bluetooth got its name?
Before its official launch Flirt, RadioWire, and PAN were the top name contenders for Bluetooth.
Bluetooth is the integrated brainchild of SIG (Special Interest Group) comprising Ericsson, Intel, Nokia, Toshiba, and IBM. These tech giants wanted to come up with a wireless technology that would replace the existing cable network and connect innumerable devices.
Hence they came up with Bluetooth technology which allows users to share voice messages, statistical data, music, photos, videos and other information through radio transmission for a short distance between paired devices.
The success of this wireless technology can be attributed to its rather unique name that carries a significant historic association. The creators of this technology are avid history buffs and they wanted a common connection between the past and the present which led to the radically distinctive name.

Launch History

In 1996 Intel was working on a program called Business-RF, Ericsson on MC-Link, and Nokia on Low Power RF, each of these companies were trying to formulate a wireless device that would have ultra low power and short range to connect various devices.
In December the same year they formed SIG (Special Interest Group) to continue working on the project.
Two of its co-founders Ericsson's Sven Mathesson and Intel's Jim Kardach came up with the code name Bluetooth for the initial launch process inspired from the Viking legends of the Scandinavian King Harald Blåtand Gormsson who ruled Denmark around 970.
Just how King Harald was responsible for unifying the tribes of his kingdom the creators of Bluetooth felt that it would be an appropriate code name as their technology would merge all computer devices and cellular industries with a short-range wireless link.
The marketing group of the companies had come up with two other top names before the official launch which were RadioWire and PAN (for Personal Area Networking) respectively.
PAN was the obvious favored choice but a market study taken later by the companies proved that it would be a speculative trademark quality for the brand hence it was dropped at the last minute and Bluetooth was chosen instead as an experimental alternative. After the launch the media posted positive reviews about the brand and the name stuck officially.

About Harald Blåtand Gormsson

Harald Blåtand Gormsson was the son of King Gorm the Old and Queen Thyra Dannebod. He was the ruler of Denmark and Norway around 970. It is believed that he unified the Danish tribes under one rule bringing the Scandinavian regions together.
According to legends he received the nickname Blåtand which means Bluetooth because he was so fond of blueberries that he consumed them in large quantities staining his teeth blue in the process.
He is also famous for erecting the Jelling stones (large runic stones) in honor of his parents. The Bluetooth logo honors this runic tradition by using the long-branch Nordic runes for "H" which stands for Harald and "B" which stands for Bluetooth inside a blue oval design.