Sunday, August 27th, 2017

Bluetooth LogoWhy would anyone name a wireless protocol Bluetooth?

The name “Bluetooth” is an Anglicised version of the Scandinavian Blåtand, the epithet of the tenth-century king Harald Bluetooth, who united dissonant Danish tribes into a single kingdom and, according to legend, introduced Christianity as well.

The idea of this name was proposed in 1997 by Jim Kardach of Intel who developed a system that would allow mobile phones to communicate with computers. At the time of this proposal he was reading Frans G. Bengtsson’s historical novel The Long Ships about Vikings and King Harald Bluetooth. The implication is that Bluetooth does the same with communications protocols, uniting them into one universal standard.

The Bluetooth logo is a bind rune merging the Younger Futhark runes Hagall and Bjarkan, Harald’s initials.

I actually have a copy of Bengtsson’s The Long Ships on my shelf.

Leave a Reply