Bluetooth

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A wireless technology of Scandinavian origin invented in 1994, Bluetooth is used for short-distance data exchange (typically around 10 metres) between fixed and mobile devices operating temporary personal networks. Bluetooth protocols and core specifications are administered by a Special Interest Group, whose standards must be met by all Bluetooth-designated products. Principally adopted by the telecoms, computing, networking and consumer electronics sectors, Bluetooth offers simple wireless connectivity and fast, flexible data-transfer capabilities for today’s handheld devices such as tablets and smartphones. As a low-energy technology, Bluetooth functionality also helps to extend the battery life of portable devices. The next Bluetooth protocol, v5, will focus on the connectivity needs of the developing Internet of Things. Bluetooth modules and adapters are supplied as hardware components which add Bluetooth wireless functionality to computer devices. These support core Bluetooth specifications from v2 through to v 4.2 with later models offering the best low-energy performance. Evaluation kits and development boards including GPIO pins and full, stand-alone functionality are also available for prototyping and developer requirements, and Bluetooth accessories such as aerials, cables and dongle formats are also carried as stock items. Major brands include Adeunis, Laird, Microchip, Nordic Semiconductor and Panasonic. Around 50% of components can be supplied on 24-hour delivery.