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Bluetooth definition

Bluetooth is a short-range wireless technology used to create PANs (Personal Area Networks) among your devices, and with other nearby devices.

Bluetooth allows you to leave your phone in your pocket, while talking on your phone with a Bluetooth headset - with no wires. You can also exchange contact or scheduling information with other Bluetooth-enabled phones nearby, or send such information to a nearby Bluetooth-enabled printer.

Another common use is to give your laptop computer or PDA wireless high-speed Internet access via Bluetooth and your phone.

Many newer automobiles also have Bluetooth, which can interface with a phone in a pocket, to allow automatic hands-free phone capability.

More innovative uses include playing a game against someone with a similar phone nearby, or using a special Bluetooth pen to send SMS messages by simply writing them on paper.

Bluetooth functionality is divided into separate types of connections known as "profiles". Each of the various scenarios outlined above involve a different profile. Not all Bluetooth devices support all profiles.

For example, most phones support the Headset and Handsfree profiles, for connecting the phones to headsets and car kits, respectively. But not all phones support the Object Exchange (OBEX) profile, which lets you transfer files (like photos and video clips) to and from other devices. Another profile supported by only some phones is Dial-Up Networking (DUN), which lets you connect a laptop or PDA to the Internet via the phone. Other optional profiles support connecting to printers and keyboards, for example.

Bluetooth is named for the 10th century Viking King Harald Bluetooth, a Danish king who conquered Norway.
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