Piconets in Bluetooth Technology

Anyone who uses or lives where electronic devices like smartphones are used has come across the word Bluetooth. Today, Bluetooth is available in a lot of electronic devices including smartphones, tablets, personal computers and even cars.

The use of Bluetooth and other software of its kind is on the increase in household electronics.

In fact, almost all household electronics today come with some form of wireless communications capability. Most of them come with either Bluetooth or infrared technology.

If you have used the Bluetooth before, you must wonder how it works. You must have been wondering how a file leaves your device and travels through thin air into the next persons device, or how your friend was able to play a song from the phone using a wireless speaker; in most cases, the Bluetooth is at work so let’s see how the Bluetooth works.

Brilliant Engineers

Bluetooth Technology was created by a group of engineers at Ericsson, a Swedish company in 1994. In 1998, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) was formed by Ericsson, Intel, Nokia, Toshiba and IBM. This means Bluetooth does not belong to a single company.

According to Wikipedia, the Bluetooth SIG now has more than 25,000 member companies in the areas of telecommunication, computing, networking and consumer electronics.

So basically, if a manufacturer must market one of its devices as a Bluetooth device, it must meet the Bluetooth SIG standards.

Piconets in blutetooth technology
How piconets work in Bluetooth communications

Bluetooth technology is both hardware and software because every Bluetooth enabled device contains a small computer chip that contains the Bluetooth radio.

Bluetooth technology allows devices to communicate or send files wirelessly through short-range, ad hoc networks known as piconet.

What is a Piconet?

A piconet is a simple network which links two or more devices – usually 8 active devices – wirelessly using Bluetooth technology protocols. One of the those devices will be the master while the others will act as slaves.

A piconet is established dynamically and automatically when a device enters radio proximity and this makes connection easy and possible anytime anywhere.

Also, a device can be a member in two piconets at the same time.

Unlike Infrared, Bluetooth does not need the communicating devices to be in line-of-sight for data transmission to occur. Infrared on the other, used in most TV remotes need objects to be in the line of sight for data transmission to occur.

That is why your TV does not respond to your remote control when there is an object (sometimes a human being standing) between the remote and the TV.  

Related: Bluetooth 5.1 Arrives With Direction Finding Feature

Bluetooth Range

Bluetooth range depends on the class of radio used in an implementation:

  • Class 3 radios have a range of up to 1 meter or 3 feet;
  • Class 2 radios have a range of 10 meters or 33 feet (the type mostly used in mobile phones);
  • Class 1 radios have a range of 100 meters or 300 feet.

Bluetooth range can be tuned by a device manufacturer to be long or short depending on the Core specification. If you want to know about developing your own bluetooth, visit this page.

Related: ReFlex – The world’s most flexible smartphone

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