How Vikings gave Bluetooth technology its name

A Scandinavian figure in the 10th century, Danish king Harald “Bluetooth” Gormsson’s nickname is said to refer to a dead tooth, or, as other tales have it, to his liking for blueberries.

He is best known for having united Norway and Denmark in a union that lasted until 1814.

A king who unified Scandinavian rivals — the parallel delighted those seeking to unite the PC and cellular industries with a short-range wireless link.

And the reference to the king goes beyond the name: the Bluetooth logo, which at first glance resembles a geometric squiggle, is in fact a superimposition of the runes for the letters “H” and “B”, the king’s initials.

Low-cost and with low power consumption, Bluetooth was finally launched in May 1998, using technology allowing computer devices to communicate with each other in short range without fixed cables. The first consumer device equipped with the technology hit the market in 1999.

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