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Where Did the Bluetooth Name and Symbol Come From?

Bluetooth technology has been around for quite some time. Back in 1994, Intel, Ericsson, and Nokia developed the technology to replace RS-232 cables by using short ranges UHF waves. How did they come up with the name bluetooth.

The name Bluetooth came from Harald Gormsson who was the king of Denmark from c. 958 to c. 986. He was known for 2 things: uniting Denmark and Norway, and his dead tooth that turned dark blue which earned him the name “Bluetooth”.

Who is Harald Gormsson?

King Harald “Bluetooth” Gromsson was a Viking King who ruled over Denmark in 958. He is responsible for introducing Christianity to Denmark as well. Following the assassination of King Harald Greycloak of Norway, Bluetooth took over and found a way to unite the tribes of both countries. (Source: The Westologist)

During his reign as king, Gormsson oversaw reconstruction and development of several infrastructure in Scandinavian country. He was thought to be responsible for building the oldest bridge in Southern Scandinavia called the Ravning Bridge. (Source: Skalk)

What is Bluetooth?

Bluetooth is a short-range wireless communications technology that was intended to replace cables that connected devices. This allowed people to phones conversations using a headset, connect a wireless mouse or keyboard to your computer, and also sync information from one device to another. (Source: Scientific American)

The technology behind the device depends on the principles of inquiry and inquiry scan. The scanning devices look for frequencies from devices that are open for active inquiry. Once the inquiry is received, the scanning device sends a response back. (Source: Scientific American)

Today we use bluetooth for many things. As users we don’t really dwell on the complexity of what goes on behind the technology we use, but at the end of the day, these small innovations are the real game changers.

How Did the Developers Choose the Name?

Intel, Ericsson, and Nokia were in the planning stages of developing short-range radio technology. Jim Kardach from Intel suggested using Bluetooth as a temporary name. It was only intended to be a placeholder until the marketing team could come up with a better alternative. (Source: Bluetooth)

Later on, Kardach was quoted saying, “King Harald Bluetooth was famous for uniting Scandinavia just as we intended to unite the PC and cellular industries with a short-range wireless link.” (Source: Bluetooth)

By the time they were ready to launch the product the names: RadioWire or Personal Area Networking were considered. PAN was highly considered to replace Bluetooth, but had so many hits online that they decided to use RadioWire instead. Unfortunately, the full trademark on RadioWire couldn’t be done by the time of the launch. Bluetooth was the only name they could use. Lucky for them, the name caught on fast. They didn’t need to change it. (Source: Bluetooth)

How Was the Bluetooth Logo Made?

The Bluetooth logo is actually a bind rune combination of the Younger Futhark symbols that represents Harald Gormsson’s initials; Hagall (ᚼ) and Bjarkan (ᛒ). (Source: Bluetooth)


In 2018, estimates show that there are about 10 billion Bluetooth devices sold worldwide. This means that the technology is here to stay regardless if it was developed over 20 years ago. (Source: Android Authority)

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