Bluetooth SIG, Inc. (“Bluetooth SIG”), the source of the ubiquitous BLUETOOTH® wireless technology, contacted NetLingo to request that we update the definition of “Bluetooth” to reflect that the term is a trademark owned by Bluetooth SIG and should be used as an adjective. Here is the updated definition:

Bluetooth® is a trademark associated with a global, low-power wireless technology standard that enables data communications between devices, and is widely used to convey to consumers that authorized products incorporate genuine Bluetooth wireless technology. The trademark and its associated technology are managed by Bluetooth SIG, Inc.

Historical perspective: Bluetooth technology was originally referred to as a noun, meaning an open technology specification for short-range radio links between mobile PCs, smart devices, and other portable machines. As a networking technology, it enables data to easily transfer from one device to another, and unlike infrared (which requires a clear line of sight to operate properly), Bluetooth technology operates over a 2.4 gigahertz radio frequency that allows communications through obstacles over distances of 30 feet. Bluetooth technology has been established as a global wireless standard and adheres to the IEEE 802.15. 4 open standard. 

In Scandinavian lore, the early Danish king Harald Blåtand, who was known for his ability to foster communication between groups of people, is credited with unifying Denmark and Norway during his rule between 940 and 981. Harald Blåtand’s surname is sometimes given the whimsical English translation of “Bluetooth.” Ericsson, as a founding member of Bluetooth SIG, was based in Sweden. As such, the adoption by Bluetooth SIG of the mark BLUETOOTH was an implicit acknowledgment of Ericsson’s Scandinavian roots and the ability of this particular wireless technology to enable wireless communication between different types of electronic devices.

NetLingo Classification: Net Technology