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)

Summary

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)

11 thoughts on “Where Did the Bluetooth Name and Symbol Come From?”

  1. Phantom707

    He would mediate peace treaties and then tear up the contract, giving half to each party. The jagged edges matched, showing it was an authentic document.

  2. Mathmage530

    Is this the guy from Civ 5?

  3. new_to_cincy

    Anyone else smile because they thought this was someone trolling Wikipedia? I got to the part about the rune and I was grimacing at the obvious lie. Seriously, this sounds like an April Fools’ joke.

  4. siraisy

    The Danish King Harald Blatand ate so many blueberries that his teeth stained blue. “Bluetooth” is named after him because of his ability to unite warring Scandinavian factions, just as Bluetooth unites wireless devices. The Bluetooth logo is also a combination of the Kings Runic initials.

    He beat back German settlers thus Denmark is not German (In fact you could say Denmark has been in a constant struggle since the Holy Roman Empire was formed not to become German).

    He christened Denmark, thus made the power vested in the king divine (due to papal approval), but that also meant that all the actual democracy Denmark did have faded in favour of feudal society. Although some things remain, the parliament is called the ‘Folketing’ which means People’s Ting. A ting being an old word for assembly.

    His rule was one of turbulence due to christening the Danes, thus he constructed numerous ring forts and hired Slavic (most likely from Poland) mercenaries to consolidate his rule.

    He was killed by his son Svend Tveskæg (Sweyn Forkbeard), who abandoned the ring forts and conquered England instead.

    Svend Tveskæg is the father of Knud den Store(Cnut the Great) who tried to make Denmark and England into one kingdom and people (he failed).

    Harald caused the Jelling Stones to be erected at the town of Jelling in Denmark where they can still be seen today.

  5. monkeybeats

    Just so people are aware, “the Vikings” were never a group of people. Vikings was basically a word for pirates. According to his Wikipedia page Harold Bluetooth was Danish, then king of Denmark and Norway.

    P.S. They never wore horns on their helmets.

  6. McNizzel

    awesome post, I had no idea! See y’all again in a few weeks

  7. FlabberBabble

    Someone listens to Stuff you Missed in History Class :).

  8. Jag-

    Long Ships is a fantastic book. Highly recommended.

  9. 4everdonuts

    Never knew the origin (or inspiration) of Bluetooth’s symbol would be a Viking King!

  10. ihatepickingnames99

    He was always surrounded by a band of loyal bodyguards, who would fight until the death when they were in his presence.

    But if they wandered a bit too far away from him, problems began.

    Some of them would just stop fighting, drop their weapons and fall to the ground.

    Others would mysteriously switch sides, start fighting for the enemy, or just help some passing peasants.

    Others would wander from thane to thane asking if they are in need of a warrior.

    If this happened Bluetooth usually could just sound his horn, and they’d come running back, but sometimes he’d have to run up to one of them and yell right in his year “It is I Harald, I’m standing right next to you, join me” but no, the warrior would just stare at him blankly not sure who Harald was. Sometimes he’d have to ask him 10 or 15 times in a row before the warrior would realize whose side he is on and rejoin the fight.

Leave a Comment