We all need regular visits to our dentist to maintain healthy teeth and gums, but that wasn’t always possible in the past. This article tells the story of how an ancient dead tooth had an impact on millions of technology users today.
In the early days of wireless technology, there were few compatible standards. Everyone used proprietary methods to communicate. While competition is good, in this case it just caused confusion for customers. In the mid-1960s, a group of companies, including Intel, Ericsson, Nokia, and IBM, decided to work together to come up with a technology that could be shared and would work with each other’s devices.
One of the Intel engineers, Jim Kardach, had been reading a book about Vikings. One night, he and an Ericsson engineer, Sven Mattisson, went to a bar to commiserate after losing a competition on a different radio technology. During their discussions, Kardach mentioned that he thought a Danish Viking, King Harald, symbolized their struggle to unite the competing wireless technologies. Harald had united Denmark, and later all of Scandanavia. He was also called Harald Bluetooth – a nickname he got for having a dead tooth that looked blue in the light. Kardach decided that Bluetooth would be the perfect code name for the project.
Bluetooth was just meant to be a temporary name, but when it was discovered that the final approved name, PAN (personal area network), might have trademark issues, Bluetooth became the official name. In fact, the odd-looking logo for Bluetooth is actually Harald Bluetooth written in Scandinavian runes!
It’s unlikely you’ll ever become famous for a dead tooth, so make sure your smile is beautiful and healthy through regular flossing and brushing and regular dental checkups!