Friday, December 29, 2006


Two different gentlemen named Richard called in to the last show with opinions on the origin of the copyrighted  trade term Bluetooth. Richard from Kingsley, MI, maintained that the original device was shaped like a tooth and that it had a blue light at one end. Richard from Traverse City, MI, claimed that it was named after Harald Bluetooth (Blatand), a Viking King of the 10th century. Traverse City wins this one.

You’ll find the full story at  I’ll simply provide a summary. In essence, Bluetooth is wireless technology that allows diverse devices such as mobile phones, PDAs, computers, and other electronic marvels to interconnect at short range without the hassle of cords.

The inventors were Scandinavians. During a discussion about the future of wireless technology, someone made an analogy to King Harald Blåtand, who had united warring factions in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. Just as he had been a unifying force, so could this new wireless technology bring together diverse instruments without the need for tangled cords.

The name Bluetooth was thus set, and a logo was devised to reflect that association. Using runic characters, the logo contains the letter H, which has the shape of an asterisk, and the letter B. (See top of page)

This has to be one of the more sophisticated ways to name a product.

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