Are Your Teeth Blue?

July 16, 2009

Unless you have been eating some blue candy, I hope not. Bluetooth is a strangely named wireless technology. Named after a Danish King who united dissonant Danish Tribes into a single kingdom, this wireless technology has been gaining popularity.

In a recent article, we talked about how wireless a computer can be. One technology that has made computers more wireless capable is Bluetooth. Bluetooth is a wireless protocol that can be used over short distances (up to 30 feet).

Bluetooth Dongle

Most cell phones these days have Bluetooth built-in to them. You probably know that you can purchase a Bluetooth headset for use with your cell phone. But did you know that you can use Bluetooth on your cell phone to exchange information with another cell phone? Contacts, music, and pictures are among the things you can transfer between cell phones using Bluetooth. You can also synchronize your cell phone to your computer using Bluetooth assuming you have a smart phone and a Bluetooth capable computer.

Many laptop computers have Bluetooth. Most desktops don’t have it. When you order a new PC, adding Bluetooth is usually a very inexpensive option. You can also purchase a Bluetooth USB adaptor that you can plug in to your computer to add Bluetooth capability. They only cost about $20 or so. The picture to the left shows a Bluetooth USB adaptor.

Once you have Bluetooth on your computer, what can you do with it? The following Bluetooth accessories can be purchased and used with a Bluetooth capable computer. They include mouse, keyboard, printer, earphones, speakers, headsets, digital picture frames, numeric keypads, and barcode scanners.

The best thing about Bluetooth wireless is that it’s one adaptor for all your wireless accessories. You can purchase non-Bluetooth wireless accessories, but each one comes with their own adaptor. And many accessories only use the Bluetooth standard. So if you want to go as wireless as possible, you really need Bluetooth.

Be aware, however, that your current wireless mouse and keyboard probably aren’t Bluetooth capable. So if you are going to switch over to Bluetooth, you’ll probably need to purchase new accessories that support Bluetooth. While adding a Bluetooth adaptor to your computer is cheap, the accessories that use Bluetooth aren’t cheap. You can find a Bluetooth mouse for around $40. A keyboard for around $100. Speakers for around $150. All-in-One printers for around $200. Bluetooth headphone prices start at around $50.

You get the idea. It’s expensive. But if you want wireless, it’s the price you pay. If you replaced your mouse, keyboard, speakers, and printer with Bluetooth, it would cost you around $500. You would certainly reduce the number of wires, but you won’t eliminate wires. You would still have to have 2 power cords, one for your computer and one for the monitor. You would also have a cable going from your computer to your monitor. Bluetooth speakers and printers often require a power cord, but there is no wire between them and the computer and you can set them up to 30 feet away from the computer.

The biggest drawback to Bluetooth, or any wireless device, is batteries. You either have to feed your Bluetooth devices batteries on a continuous basis, or purchase rechargeable devices that must be charged when you aren’t using them. Until they invent wireless power (they are working on it), wireless devices won’t be totally wireless.

By the way, if you are going to purchase a new laptop, we recommend you get one with Bluetooth built-in to it and get yourself a Bluetooth mouse. That way there will be no need for a wireless adaptor for your mouse. And it will allow the use of all of these other Bluetooth accessories I mentioned.

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