Bluetooth: A One-Thousand Year Legacy Part One

Bluetooth Phone and Headphones

Ever wonder how Bluetooth technology got its name? Next time you pair an audiobook to your phone, tablet, or smart speaker, you can thank Harald “Bluetooth” Gormsson, Viking King of Denmark c. 958-986. Bluetooth was born into a new royal line centered at Jelling (North Jutland) and completed the country’s unification begun by his father. He converted the Danes to Christianity, and conquered Norway. Opinions on just why he was call Bluetooth range from his love of blueberries to having a ‘blue’ bad tooth to being a blue or dark thane (Blå-tand is Danish for Bluetooth). Regardless, if you think poor Harald had an unfortunate byname, consider those of his father Gorm ‘the Old’, and his son Sweyn I, ‘Forkbeard’!

So why Bluetooth wireless? The name is based on the analogy that it would unite devices the way Harald Bluetooth united the warring tribes in Denmark and Norway into a single kingdom. The Scandinavian runes for H and B were merged to become the logo for Bluetooth wireless technology.

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Sara Winokur

Sara Winokur

SARA WINOKUR is a Ph.D. molecular geneticist whose research has been published in many scientific journals, including Human Molecular Genetics, Nature Genetics, and Cell/Stem Cell. As an ovarian cancer thriver, Sara has dedicated her life to family, friends, and her second career as an author of historical fiction and forensic mysteries. When not wandering the globe, Sara lives with her family and writes in Southern California. Double Blind: The Icelandic Manuscript Murders is her debut novel.

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