In a span of two decades, Bluetooth has grown to be an essential feature in many devices. It’s now used to connect headsets, smartphones, car stereos, smartwatches and other devices wirelessly. There’s no doubt Bluetooth is beneficial in modern times when it comes to convenience, but what about Bluetooth dangers?
Before anything else, let’s learn about the history of Bluetooth and how it was discovered. In 1999, Bluetooth was officially introduced through a commercial hands-free headset. However, this technology was originally invented by Dr. Jaap Haartsen in 1994 with the purpose of replacing obsolete telecommunications cables by finding a low-powered means to transmit signals within a short distance.
The convenience of this technology made it more popular as time went by, and the first-ever Bluetooth-enabled mobile phone called T36 was released by Sony Ericson in 2000. Bluetooth phones became in demand with the release of the T39 model in 2001. The consumers, however, were not pleased that Bluetooth 1.0 was convenient for voice calls using wireless headsets, but not for music as it could only send signals within 10 meters.
From Bluetooth 1.0, which was revised numerous times in order to improve range and speed, Bluetooth 2.0 was eventually released in 2004 to provide 1Mbps to 3Mbps speeds with Enhanced Data Rate within 30 meters. As technology doesn’t stop evolving, newer revisions were released in 2009, 2013, and 2017.
Bluetooth Low Energy was then introduced in 2013, which revolutionized how people approach this technology. LE was designed for fitness trackers or smartwatches that only need a weak signal to connect wirelessly. Learn more about Bluetooth and your smartwatch in this video: click here. With the latest Bluetooth 5.0, classic Bluetooth now has a 3Mbps maximum speed of connection with EDR and 2Mbps for Bluetooth LE. Both versions have a maximum range of up to 240 meters.
The Basics Of Bluetooth
The fundamental function of Bluetooth is to send and receive data between two devices. It provides a means for these devices to communicate information without using wires to connect them. Bluetooth devices transmit a radiofrequency signal from 2.4GHz to 2.483.5GHz within a spectrum band.
The FCC reserves them for medical, scientific, and industrial devices, so Bluetooth-enabled devices don’t technically compete with mobile signals and other radio frequencies; rather, they are exclusively competing with each other. The devices use spread-spectrum frequency hopping to reduce interference.
The transmitter alters the frequencies at which Bluetooth is broadcasting with spread-spectrum frequency hopping while staying in the range. A Bluetooth device changes radio frequency around 1,600 times every second. Therefore, a quick interference and overlap with another device only last for less than a second.
How Does It Actually Work
After sending out a signal from the first Bluetooth device, another device will pick up the signal within range. When the two devices are paired, which connect automatically, they can share data over a network. On the other hand, the pairing process can be initiated by tapping the Pair Device on the phone.
The two connected devices create a personal area network called piconet to freely share data. You can play music on your phone and listen to it through a wireless speaker, or call somebody on your phone and hear them via your Bluetooth headset. The network doesn’t allow other nearby networks to interfere with the connection.
Therefore, you can safely connect several devices at the same time within the range. For instance, you can play with your console using the Bluetooth controller connected to it, and get your phone’s playlist on play through a wireless speaker without interference from other networks.
If you keep your Bluetooth device on, the transmitter will constantly look for a new device to pair with. Even if there’s no available device to be paired, an active Bluetooth still produces radiofrequency signals.
Bluetooth Dangers And Playing It Safe
Bluetooth is a type of non-ionizing radiation that lacks the energy needed to divide an atom like in gamma rays and X-rays. Compared to infrared, the wavelength is much longer but way shorter than extremely-low frequencies. It also belongs to the radio-wave spectrum with a 2.4GHz band like in microwave ovens and WiFi devices. Learn more about these different types of radiation in this video: click here.
The semi-permeable signal zone allows Bluetooth dangers to pass through several surfaces and objects. Typically, a signal travels through the interior wall, however, it falls short of traveling through thicker obstacles like concrete.
When it comes to Bluetooth dangers, there is still a lack of studies on its side effects and safety precautions. However, it’s thought that the only side effect of Bluetooth radiation is thermal heating. Regulations are established to ensure Bluetooth devices don’t burn the skin. Therefore, rest assured that Bluetooth is safe to use as burning instances are rare.
Moreover, users are concerned by the Bluetooth dangers of radiofrequency waves that it produces while transmitting signals. These radiofrequency waves are known as EMF radiation. Specifically, it is considered RF-EMF radiation which is associated with some negative effects on human health including heart tumors, neurological problems, fertility issues, glioma, and other types of cancer.
If you have electromagnetic hypersensitivity, you may experience some symptoms caused by RF-EMF radiation exposure such as fatigue, nausea, and dizziness. Bluetooth is not going anywhere, it’s going to be around for a long time. The best way to prevent these negative health effects is to minimize your exposure to Bluetooth dangers.
Wrapping It Up
Bluetooth is only going to be even bigger in the years to come. It’s important to understand how it works so that you can maximize using this technology. Also, you need to learn how to co-exist with this revolutionary invention in the safest way possible to avoid any potential side effects.