Using low-power radio waves, it is a convenient alternative to Infrared communication such as that used in remote controls.
Bluetooth users enjoy instant, wireless communication. Imagine having your cell phone transfer calls directly to your home phone line because Bluetooth recognized that you were in your home. This technology also allows for instant file transfers and messages between Bluetooth users. One of the most significant advantages it has over Infrared technology is that the Bluetooth does not need a line of sight to transmit information.
How Bluetooth Works: Is Radiation a Problem?
Bluetooth sends out weak radio signals to connect up to eight devices to each other within a range of about 10 feet. This is the same technology used by baby monitors and portable phones. Bluetooth uses a technique called “spread-spectrum frequency hopping” to ensure that each device is on a different frequency and therefore they do not interfere with one another. This gives users the convenience of being able to control a number of electronic devices in the home or workplace from a single Bluetooth-enabled device, such as a cell phone.
Because it emits radio waves, some worry that Bluetooth radiation could cause health problems. People sensitive to the waves sent out by microwaves, cell phones and radio towers often complain of nausea, headaches and other bothersome symptoms associated with their exposure. However, the Bluetooth signal at 1 milliwatt is extremely low compared to some cell phones, which may emit up to 3 watts. The signal is also transmitted throughout a space and not in a single, powerful beam. Bluetooth radiation is considered far less bothersome than cell phone radiation.
Pros & Cons of a Wireless Network
Bluetooth is an intelligent technology in that it scans the radio waves of the area it is in to determine if other devices have data or other information to share with it. Without any instruction from the user, Bluetooth establishes a wireless network between the users. This technology has a number of useful applications. For example, in an office building, several computers could share information without having to use a complicated mess of wires and cables to build the network. Information can be transmitted instantly over the Bluetooth network.
In the home, Bluetooth is a convenient tool. The Bluetooth-enabled entertainment system, portable phone, television and computer each have a transmitter for picking up signals within their network. Before Bluetooth, these devices could all work in a small area because they were on different networks and used different frequencies. Bluetooth technology is able to connect each of those separate frequencies on a single network, but still prevents them from interfering with each other.
One of the Bluetooth dangers is that the network capabilities that make it so convenient can also cause unauthorized file sharing. Users must take precautions to ensure that the information stored in their Bluetoothenabled devices stays safe. Because it uses radio waves to transmit signals, those signals can be “grabbed” from the air by people who should not have access to it. Spam can also become a problem if other users are able to indiscriminately send out files to people within the range of their network. Users should become familiar with the security settings on their devices to ensure that they are prompted before releasing files or allowing a connection to their device.